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Made the roasted cauliflower tonight - simple and delicious. I now have a new veg my kids like thanks to chowhounds. So, how about beets? Never have been one of my favorites but I suspect the fact that my Grandmother served them from a can and simply re-heated on the stove might have something to do with this. Any ideas?

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  1. I like to roast them too. Two ways to go but this. You can wrap each beet individually in foil and roast until fork tender, about an hour and then slip the skins off and slice and serve well buttered or, I have also put several beets in a covered casserole and again roasted for about an hour at 350 F. Look for golden beets instead of red. They are sweeter but also pack a higher sugar wallop to your diet. I like both types. Red or gold.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      In Paris they sell beets at most markets already cooked. As I stay with friends, I frequently cook and find them a wonderful convenience. Visting New York recently,(I live in Toronto),I noticed Fairway sells cooked beets as well. Hope the idea catches on. I usually bake them unpeeled in foil.

      1. re: Judith

        Trader Joe's stores now have cooked beets in addition to the ones in need of a nuking, or at least the stores here in So. Calif!

    2. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      Roast the suckers. The longer the better, they should start turning black on the outside, you should be saying to yourself "Oh my God, I've ruined them for sure!" Roasting will caramalize the natural sugars in the beets and transform them into ambrosia. Roast them in a 400 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, a bit longer than that if they're big beets (over 3 inches wide). Make sure you line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and put it on the rack underneath the beets to catch the drips that they surely will produce. When cooled, you can do a simple beet salad by peeling the beets (peel them no matter what you do), then dice them and toss with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

        or, even easier, just peel before roasting (with a potato peeler), and cut into pieces, put the pieces into a pyrex pan, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven at 400 for about an hour. Great cooled in a salad, or mix several colors and serve with roast chicken as a side dish....

        1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

          I roast at the temp and time as the Cosmic Jester, but do so by cutting the greens from the beets, leaving 1/2 or less stemmy bits at the top, wrapping the whole, unpeeled, unwashed beet in tinfoil, adn then tossing the beet bundles onto the oven rack. I roast until the knofe can pierce the beet all the way through.

          To peel: take a paper towel, grab the hot beet, and rub the skin off with the paper towel. Put the newly peeled beet on a clean plate or surface. Re-peat with the rest of the beets.

          Favorite beet serving methods:
          tossed, chopped and hot, with olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar or blood orange juice, and thyme, fresh or dried.

          In spinach salad with goat or feta cheese, toasted nuts of your choice, and a balsamic vinaigrette.

          Golden beets are wonderful with lemon juice instead of balsamic, and perfect with chicken. Also great peeled and roasted with sweet potatoes and cippolini onions in a roasting pan.

        2. j
          Jim Washburn

          Beet greens are delicious, also. If you can find bunches of beets with nice fresh tops, you get a double treat.


          1. Love beets. As others said, roasted is the way to go. I like mine roasted, sliced, then tossed w/ little butter and tarragon. Also like them chilled and mixed in a salad w/ goat cheese. You can also make a beet soup like borscht.

            For a great cookbook w/ simple but beautiful treatment of many veggies, I recommend...

            Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Carb Lover

              I second both of these recommendations! Roasted beets tossed with butter and a little salt are unbelievable! As is roasted beet and goat cheese salad (add orange supremes for an interesting variation...)

              1. re: kitnimbus

                Yes, beets and orange segments are a wonderful flavor and visual pairing!

            2. As others have said, roasting is definitely the best way to cook beets; but if you're in a hurry--and own a pressure cooker--you can pressure-steam medium-sized beets in 20 minutes or less. They still taste considerably better than the canned ones!

              1. I roast them in the oven and then cool and slice them. I love them in salad -- romaine, blue cheese, honey mustard dressing, sauteed chicken breast and roasted beets! YUM!

                1. The other thing you can do is shred them raw: yup, I said raw, and use it in a salad, or have it as a salad with a balsamic vinagrette. Nigella Lawson has a recipe along these lines. I've been thinking about doing a shredded beet/mooli salad. Shredding raw celariac also works.

                  Pickled beets are vile; I'm completely with you on that!

                  1. I like my beets this way:

                    Boil them in water until a sharp knife is easily inserted. Drain and shock. Peal them and cut into cubes. Sauté with butter or oil and some herb or spice of your choosing. I think this offers a fresher beet flavor and preserves the color better than the roasting method. But that might just be me.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ChefElias

                      I like roasted beets, but I eat beets all the time, and my basic beet is boiled. Jut cut off the greens, and boil in the skin, which will slide right off once the beets are cooked. The flavor is different from roasted beets, but I like it just as much. I will eat a boiled beet straight from the fridge with nothing on it. I wouldn't recommend that to someone who doesn't like beets, though.

                      And I like them pickled.

                      Of course, everyone likes borscht, right?

                      Oh, and I haven't had good luck with yellow beets. The ones I've had have been unpleasantly bland and watery. I may just be unlucky, though.

                    2. Roasting is the only way to go, imo. Boiling does nothing for the flavor. I disagree with roasting 1.5 to 2 hours, the beets end up way too soft that way. And at this time of year, when beets are young and already sweet, there's no need to cook 'em to mush. An hour is tops.

                      When ready, toss with a vinaigrette made from citrus and mild olive oil. Then top with crumbled fresh goat cheese and a bit of toasted nuts (pine, almond, walnut).


                      1. I go with the roasting crowd. It can be fun to combine the different colors of beets on a single plate. There are some that are sort of white and red concentric circles if you slice them horizontally. All beets are attractive served on the steamed greens, too.

                        I also agree with the suggestion for adding goat cheese. I sometimes use a few different goat cheeses in the salad (e.g., a fresh soft one, a blue one, and a hard older one), to give different tastes and textures within variations on a theme. Toss a few hazelnuts on top, too.

                        My condiment of choice is good quality balsamic vinegar drizzled over top.

                        Regarding the suggestion about shredding them raw for a salad (also relevant if you prepare your borscht this way): WEAR SOMETHING THAT CAN TAKE THE STAINS!

                        1. I concur with everyone else's recommendations, roasted are the best and need little to bring out their flavor. However, that being said, I have an excellent risotto recipe that I make with beets, swiss chard, goat cheese and walnuts...it is very delicious!!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: 4chowpups

                            Great pasta recipe that even my husband, who hates beets, will eat. Don't know whence I got it.

                            Spaghetti with beets

                            1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                            4 cloves garlic, crushed
                            4 anchovy fillets, chopped
                            3 red beets, julienned
                            1 pinch black pepper
                            1 small hot pepper, minced
                            1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
                            1 pound thin spaghetti
                            2 escarole hearts, coarsely chopped
                            Heat the oil in a saute pan, add the garlic and brown. Add anchovy, beets, black pepper, hot pepper, and parsley. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
                            Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. 30 seconds before the pasta is finished cooking, add the escarole. Strain pasta and escarole together, and toss into the sauce. Serve, adding Parmesan, to taste.

                            1. re: 4chowpups

                              Would you mind sharing the recipe? Sounds like something I'd love.


                              1. re: nja

                                Sure thing, I will post it tomorrow Nick as I am heading off to put the rest of my chowpups to bed. BTW, the recipe came from Cooking Light a few years ago...of course I add more of the goood stuff ie. goat cheese and walnuts!!;)

                                1. re: 4chowpups

                                  Beet Risotto with Greens, Goat Cheese and Walnuts-from Cooking Light magazine

                                  2 tsp. olive oil
                                  1 c. chopped onion
                                  1 c. Arborio rice
                                  1 tlb. minced fresh ginger
                                  2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
                                  1/2 c. dry white wine
                                  3 c. finely chopped peeled beets
                                  1/2 c. water
                                  1/4 tsp. sea salt
                                  1 can broth-veg. or chicken
                                  6 c. finely sliced swiss chard
                                  1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese, I use more
                                  1/4 c. toasted chopped walnuts

                                  Heat oil in Dutch oven, add onion, saute 3 min. Add rice, ginger, and rosemary;saute 1 min. Add wine; cook 3 min. or until most of liquid is absorbed. Add beets, h2o, salt and broth; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, simmer 20 min. until beets are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chard, cook 5 minutes. Add cheese and blend. Sprinkle each serving with walnuts (I just add them into the whole thing and top with more walnuts!!)

                            2. s
                              scott duncan

                              I am also a fan of roasted beets. But in a hurry I peel them wrap them in plastic wrap and microwave them. This steams them in the plastic and they cook in minutes (3 for smaller beets). No additional roasted flavor but still very good.


                              1. do a search for maya kaimal's recipe for "beets with coconut." it's a yummy indian dish. i think it's still on the foodtv website.

                                also, i've been reading all the other replies and am wondering if i am the only one who thinks beets go great with garlic? beets and goat cheese in a garlicky vinagrette? that is close to heaven! add some shaved fennel for crunch and an added flavor dimension.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: missmasala

                                  Of course beets go great with garlic!