My research reveals several ways beets can be roasted: peeled or not; whole or cut into chunks; wrapped in foil or not; plain, or brushed/tossed with olive oil and various spices. Roasting temps range from 350 to 425 degrees, and times vary from about one hour to more than 2 hours. At the moment, I just want a recipe for basic roasted (red and gold) beets to serve with meat. Can anyone help? Thanks!!!
I've been roasting them whole (if small) or halved at 400 deg, peeled with a peeler (I don't boil first), then tossed with an olive oil, garlic, black pepper, and salt "pesto" with whatever herb that you have the most of.
I slice wash and peel the beets first, then slice into pieces about 1/8 ince thick. Place the pieces on a piece of tin foil big enough to seal at the top like a pouch and season with salt and pepper to taste and a tablespoon of EV olive oil(you could use butter too). The ammounts really depend on the ammount of beets. To this you could add a half a sliced red onion, sometimes i do sometimes i dont depending on the mood. The seal up the pouch and cook for 45-60min at 400. They should be tender enough to be pierced with a fork when done.
I've been microwaving them and the taste and texture is practically identical to roasting. If I were roasting meat anyway I'd just do it in the oven, but in this heat, I don't want the oven on for that long, but I want beets for salads- voila... microwave!
I put 4 or 5 medium size beets in a pyrex dish with a cover, add 3/4 cup water and microwave for somewhere around 9-10 minutes. Then I cool them and use in summer salads.
I've never baked them in foil and I wonder if when you do that the beets end up softer. So that might make a real difference...
Otherwise, beets are great to roast because they'll come out fine almost no matter what you do. If you have time, do them at low temp for longer. If you don't, high temp and even cut them in chunks. Use any fat/liquid you want.
Just make the first of those recipes that looks all right to you, beets are very forgiving (and throw some onions on the side for a real treat.)
The book I consult most often on that subject says not to peel them, just scrub and trim tops to 1" from beet, don't trim off the root, and cook in a foil-covered pan. That works pretty well for freshly-dug small beets, less well for ones a week or more out of the ground, and not well at all for big old ones.
The upside is that it's darn near impossible to make a beet inedible...unless you don't like them, of course. Always astonished at how many don't.
re: Will Owen
Yep. Beets are very forgiving, hence the variations in preparation mentioned.
I also leave them whole, leave the root, don't peel, but do cut off the tops leaving an inch or so of stem so they don't lose liquid and color. The skins slip right off once they are cooked. I wrap the whole in heavy duty foil which makes easy cleanup.
As for time and temperatue, I'm very inconsistent. If something else is in the oven, I just put them in and adjust the time, which I do anyway because of size variation. I've used temperatures from 250 to 400 and times from as little as half an hour to an hour & a half (working in the garden and forgot about them). A poke generally tells me when they are cooked.