Calling all beet lovers and skeptics alike! Get ready to fall in love with these irresistibly delicious roasted beets. Whether you're already a beet enthusiast or haven't quite warmed up to beets yet, this roasting method is here to win you over and convert you into a beet lover. So get ready for a flavor sensation that you won't be able to resist!
Picture this: With lightly caramelized exteriors that strike the perfect balance between tender and not-quite-crisp, these roasted beets are a flavor sensation that will leave you craving more. Even if you're not head over heels for beets in every dish, these roasted beauties will have you hooked. In fact, I must admit, I often find it a challenge to resist devouring the entire pan before dinner. So brace yourself for a taste experience that will have you coming back for seconds.
Roasting is a simple and easy way to cook beets bringing out their earthy sweet flavor. It requires less than 15 minutes prepping and 1 hour of baking.
This recipe pairs well with my ROASTED BEETS AND ORANGE SALAD WITH CAESAR DRESSING
Facts about Beets
Beetroots, commonly known as beets, are a popular root vegetable used in many cuisines around the world. Notably, they are gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and vegan-friendly.
Additionally, beets are associated with numerous health benefits. For example, they have anti-inflammatory effects and are a great source of fiber, promoting better digestion. Moreover, they have been shown to help reduce blood pressure. Most importantly, beets are low in calories but high in nutrients. Loaded with nitrates, potassium, iron, and fiber, beets offer a wealth of essential elements for a healthy diet.
Furthermore, their beautiful red-purple color gives them their distinctive appearance. However, it's important to note that this vibrant color can potentially stain clothes and skin.
In terms of cooking methods, you have various options to choose from. Whether you prefer to roast, boil, or bake them, the cooking technique can be tailored to your taste and preference.
Looking for delightful ways to incorporate more beets into your diet? Consider indulging in beet salads, flavorful beet dips, nutritious beet smoothies, refreshing beet juice, or even incorporating cooked beet leaves into your meals.
How to Pick Beets
When it comes to selecting beets, follow these tips to choose the best ones:
Size and Shape: Look for beets that are firm and have a smooth, round shape. Avoid beets that are excessively large or have elongated shapes, as they can be tough or fibrous.
Skin Texture: The skin of the beets should be smooth and free from blemishes or cuts. Avoid beets with soft spots, bruises, or wrinkled skin, as these are signs of decay or spoilage.
Greens: If the beets come with their leafy greens attached, check the condition of the greens. They should be fresh, vibrant, and not wilted. Healthy beet greens can be used in salads or sautéed as a nutritious side dish.
Color: Beets come in different varieties, including red, golden, and striped. Choose beets with vibrant and deep colors, as this indicates freshness and good flavor. However, the color alone does not determine the taste or quality of the beet.
Weight: Pick beets that feel heavy for their size. Heavier beets generally indicate that they are juicy and have a higher moisture content.
Remember, freshness is key when it comes to enjoying the best flavor and texture of beets. By paying attention to these factors, you'll be able to select high-quality beets for your recipes and culinary creations.
Why roast beets?
The best way to cook beets is to roast or bake them in the oven. While beets can certainly be enjoyed raw when thinly sliced, roasting them takes their flavor and texture to a whole new level. Roasting transforms the beets from crunchy to silky and tender, creating a delightful culinary experience. Unlike boiling or steaming, roasting in a hot oven brings out the natural sweetness of beets and intensifies their flavors. The process concentrates the beet's natural goodness, making it a preferred method for many beet enthusiasts.
So, if you're looking to bring out the sweeter side of beets and experience their full potential, roasting is the way to go.
Flavors that pair well with roasted beets:
Enhance the flavors of roasted beets by pairing them with these delicious ingredients:
Arugula and bold greens: The peppery notes of arugula and robust greens like collard greens complement the earthy sweetness of roasted beets.
Avocado: Creamy and buttery, avocado adds a luscious texture and a hint of richness to roasted beets.
Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar: These tangy vinegars provide a delightful contrast to the sweetness of beets, adding depth and brightness to the overall flavor profile.
Black pepper: A sprinkle of black pepper adds a touch of heat and enhances the earthy flavors of roasted beets.
Carrots: The natural sweetness and vibrant color of carrots pair beautifully with roasted beets, creating a visually appealing and delicious combination.
Creamy cheeses and dairy: Cheeses like feta, goat cheese, blue cheese, ricotta, crème fraiche, sour cream, and plain yogurt lend a creamy and tangy element that complements the sweetness of beets.
Fennel: The mild anise-like flavor of fennel provides a refreshing and slightly aromatic addition to roasted beets.
Lemon and orange: The citrusy brightness of lemon and orange zest or juice cuts through the richness of roasted beets, adding a refreshing and tangy element.
Nuts and seeds: Whether it's pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pepitas, or sunflower seeds, adding a sprinkle of crunchy nuts or seeds offers texture and a delightful nutty flavor to roasted beets.
Onions (green, red, and shallots): The pungent and slightly sweet flavors of onions, especially green, red, and shallots, pair well with the earthiness of beets, creating a well-balanced and flavorful combination.
How to Serve Roasted Beets?
Enjoy roasted beets on top of a salad, protein bowls, Buddha bowls, blended into hummus, smoothies. Serve roasted beets marinated with salt and drizzle of oil and vinegar as a side dish near meat and mashed potatoes dish. The options are endless!
Try this full of flavor Roasted beets and orange salad with Caesar dressing.
Roasted Beets Recipe Variations
Roasted beets are fantastic in salads. To create a delightful and nutritious salad, combine them with fresh greens like arugula or spinach.
Additionally, consider adding crumbled goat cheese or feta for a creamy and tangy element. This will enhance the richness of the salad and provide a delightful contrast to the roasted beets and other ingredients.
For an added crunch and depth of flavor, sprinkle toasted nuts such as walnuts or pecans over the salad. This will bring a satisfying textural element and a nutty taste that complements the overall dish.
To bring it all together, drizzle with a tangy vinaigrette that complements the earthy sweetness of the roasted beets.
Roasted beets are fantastic in salads. Combine them with fresh greens like arugula or spinach, crumbled goat cheese or feta, toasted nuts (such as walnuts or pecans), and a tangy vinaigrette for a flavorful and satisfying salad.
Roasted Beet Salad: Combine the roasted beets with mixed greens, crumbled goat cheese, toasted nuts, and a light vinaigrette for a delicious and vibrant salad. The combination of flavors and textures creates a satisfying and refreshing dish.
Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad: Combine the roasted beets with segments of citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits. Add some arugula, feta cheese, and a citrusy dressing for a vibrant and tangy salad.
Sandwiches or Wraps
Slice roasted beets and use them as a filling for sandwiches or wraps. Add other ingredients like fresh greens, avocado, and a flavorful sauce or spread for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Roasted Beet Sandwich: Layer sliced roasted beets on your favorite bread along with avocado, arugula, and a spread of tangy goat cheese or hummus for a flavorful and satisfying sandwich option.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Crostini: Slice the roasted beets and layer them on toasted baguette slices spread with creamy goat cheese. Top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme or chives for an elegant appetizer.
Roasted Beet and Hummus Wrap: Spread a generous amount of hummus on a tortilla or wrap. Add slices of roasted beets, mixed greens, cucumber, and any other desired vegetables. Roll it up for a delicious and nutritious wrap.
Roasted Beet and Avocado Toast: Mash avocado onto a slice of toasted bread and top it with sliced roasted beets. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice for a simple yet satisfying breakfast or snack option.
Creamy Dips or Spreads
Turn roasted beets into a creamy dip or spread by pureeing them with ingredients like Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. This beet dip can be enjoyed with fresh vegetables, pita bread, or crackers.
Roasted Beet Hummus: Blend the roasted beets with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and spices to make a vibrant and nutritious beet hummus. Serve with pita bread or vegetable sticks for dipping.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Tart: Use roasted beets as a topping for a savory tart along with creamy goat cheese, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs. This combination creates a visually stunning and delicious appetizer or main course.
Condiments and spices
Experimenting with different flavor combinations and recipes allows you to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy the deliciousness of roasted beets.
Honey-Glazed Roasted Beets: Drizzle the roasted beets with a mixture of honey, olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt before roasting. The honey adds a touch of sweetness and enhances the caramelization of the beets.
Balsamic Roasted Beets: Toss the roasted beets with a balsamic vinegar reduction or glaze after roasting. The tangy and slightly sweet flavor of balsamic vinegar pairs wonderfully with the earthy taste of beets.
Herb-Roasted Beets: Add a blend of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and parsley to the roasted beets before roasting. The herbs infuse the beets with aromatic flavors and complement their earthiness.
Citrus-Roasted Beets: Squeeze some fresh citrus juice, such as orange or lemon, over the roasted beets before serving. The citrus adds a bright and refreshing element that balances out the earthy flavors.
Spiced Roasted Beets: Sprinkle the roasted beets with a mixture of spices like cumin, coriander, and paprika before roasting. The warm and aromatic spices add depth and a hint of warmth to the beets.
Cheese, meats and vegetables
Cheese: Create a cheese platter with roasted beets as one of the components. Pair them with soft cheeses like goat cheese or creamy cheeses like blue cheese or feta. The combination of the sweet beets and rich, tangy cheese is delightful.
Proteins: Roasted beets can be a tasty side dish for various proteins. They pair well with grilled or roasted meats like steak, chicken, or lamb. You can also serve them alongside baked or grilled fish for a nutritious and colorful meal.
Roasted Vegetables: Serve roasted beets alongside other roasted vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or Brussels sprouts. This combination of roasted goodness adds depth of flavor and creates a visually appealing dish.
Roasted Beet Soup: Blend the roasted beets with vegetable or chicken broth, onions, garlic, and your choice of herbs to create a creamy and flavorful beet soup. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt for added creaminess.
Build a nourishing grain bowl with roasted beets as one of the components. Combine them with cooked grains, roasted vegetables, protein of your choice, and a tasty dressing or sauce for a wholesome and satisfying meal.
Roasted Beet and Quinoa Bowl: Create a wholesome and filling bowl by pairing the roasted beets with cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables (such as sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts), and a drizzle of tahini sauce. This combination of flavors and textures creates a satisfying and nutritious meal that will keep you energized throughout the day. Add some fresh herbs for extra flavor.
Roasted Beet and Orange Smoothie: Blend the roasted beets with fresh orange juice, a banana, a handful of spinach, and a splash of almond milk for a nutritious and vibrant smoothie option. The beets add a beautiful color and subtle sweetness to the smoothie.
Expert tips for cooking with beets
- Selecting beets: Look for beets with firm, smooth skin and vibrant color. Avoid beets that are soft, wrinkled, or have spots or blemishes.
- Storing beets: Cut off the greens from the beetroot, leaving about an inch of the stem attached. Store unwashed beets in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they can last for up to two weeks. The greens can be stored separately in a plastic bag for up to three days.
- Preparing beets: Before cooking, scrub the beets under cold water to remove any dirt. Next, trim off the stems and tails, but leave the skin intact to prevent bleeding of color. If you prefer, you can also peel the beets after cooking when they are easier to handle. This allows for a more effortless peeling process and helps retain the beet's vibrant color.
- Roasting beets: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of beets. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the scrubbed and trimmed beets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45-60 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Let them cool slightly before peeling or slicing.
- Steaming beets: Another option is steaming, which helps retain the nutrients and color of the beets. Cut the beets into quarters or smaller pieces, and place them in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
- Boiling beets: Boiling is a quicker method for cooking beets. Place the scrubbed and trimmed beets in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Drain and let them cool before peeling.
- Pairing flavors: Beets have a naturally sweet and earthy flavor that pairs well with various ingredients. Try combining them with tangy citrus fruits, creamy cheeses like goat cheese or feta, nuts such as walnuts or pecans, fresh herbs like dill or parsley, or balsamic vinegar for a delightful combination of flavors. By incorporating these ingredients, you can elevate the taste of the roasted beets and create a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, creamy, and nutty flavors.
- Using beet greens: Don't discard the beet greens! They are edible and packed with nutrients. Sauté them with garlic and olive oil, add them to salads, or use them as a nutritious addition to soups and stews.
- Staining hands: Red beats have a pretty intense color and the have the tendency to stain your skin and fingernails. To prevent staining, wear gloves when handling beets, or wash your hands immediately after touching them. To remove beet stains from cutting boards or utensils, scrub them with a paste of baking soda and water. Therefore use food prep gloves to protect your hands from stain when peeling and slicing.
- Creative uses: Get creative with beets! Use them in salads, soups, roasted vegetable medleys, smoothies, or even bake them into cakes for a vibrant and nutritious twist.
Store beets: Place the beets in an airtight storage container and refrigerate them for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat beets: To gently rewarm leftovers, you can either use a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or the microwave.
Freeze beets: If you wish to freeze the beets, transfer them to an airtight, freezer-safe container and store them for up to 3 months. Prior to reheating, allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Roasted Beets?
Yes. You can freeze whole, sliced, diced or grated beets in an airtight, freezer-friendly, glass container for up to 2-3 months.
Here's how you can freeze roasted beets:
- Allow the roasted beets to cool completely. It's important to cool them down to room temperature before freezing.
- Peel the skin off the roasted beets if you haven't done so already. The skin should easily come off after roasting. You can use your fingers or a small knife to remove it.
- Slice or dice the roasted beets according to your preference. You can cut them into slices, cubes, or any other desired shape for easier handling and portioning.
- Place the sliced or diced roasted beets in airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Make sure to leave some headspace at the top of the containers or bags to allow for expansion during freezing. This is crucial to prevent the containers or bags from bursting or getting damaged due to the expansion of the frozen beets.
- Seal the containers or bags tightly, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
- Place the containers or bags in the freezer and ensure they are placed in a flat position to freeze evenly.
Frozen roasted beets can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.
When you're ready to use the frozen roasted beets, simply remove the desired portion from the freezer. Next, proceed to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature.
Thawed roasted beets can be enjoyed cold in salads or reheated for use in various dishes. For example, they can be incorporated into soups, stews, or side dishes.
It's important to note that freezing may slightly alter the texture of the roasted beets. Consequently, they may become slightly softer upon thawing. However, they will still retain their flavor and nutritional value.
FAQs about Roasted Beets
To determine if beets are done cooking, you can use a fork or a small knife to test their tenderness. Insert the fork or knife into the thickest part of the beet. If it goes in easily and the beet feels tender, they are likely done cooking. Alternatively, you can gently squeeze the beet. If it feels soft and yields to slight pressure, it is cooked.
No, peeling beets before roasting is not necessary. Interestingly, the skin of beets is edible and becomes tender when roasted.
However, if you prefer a softer texture or have aesthetic reasons for removing the skin, you can peel the beets before roasting.
Beets can be served in various ways, depending on personal preference and the dish they are being used in.
While some recipes call for serving beets cold, such as in salads or as a chilled side dish, it's important to note that they can also be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
Roasting beets is a fantastic method for intensifying their natural sweetness and creating a rich, caramelized flavor. However, it's important to be mindful of the cooking time to prevent the beets from becoming bitter. Overcooking can cause the sugars in the beets to caramelize excessively, leading to a bitter taste.
No, you do not have to peel beets before baking as the skin peels off easily after baking. However make sure to scrub the beets to remove all of the dirt from them.
MY FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLSPrint
Please let me know how your beets turn out in the comments! I love hearing from you. Snap a photo and hashtag it #alexascuisine.