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Nov 22, 2006 07:15 AM

Help for Beets Idiot

Forgive me here but I need pronto Thanksgiving help. I've offered to cook the Herbed Roasted Winter Vegetables recipe on Epicurious, which looks divine. But, I have never cooked with fresh beets before and don't understand where peeling comes in since the recipe never mentions peeling. Help!

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  1. Perhaps post the recipe or a link - but it's always less messy to peel beets before cooking and they are delicious roasted.

    1. One typically cooks the beets whole, and then peel beets after they are cooked. Typically, you roast the beets, and then the skins come off quite easily. However, they always are messy when peeling -- use gloves or wash your hands quickly afterward.

      You should look at a book like Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, as he's got all the details on beets. Good luck, though!

      1 Reply
      1. re: DanaB

        "Typical" changed for me after I tried roasted, peeled beets. More
        full flavor.

      2. Here's how I roast beets: scrub and trim tops to 1". Wrap a few in aluminum foil and bake for an hour or so until you can easily stick a fork in 'em. Then once they cool a bit, with your hands, rub the peel and it comes right off. It sort of smushes off, though you can see the difference between the peel and beet proper as you do it. Yes, it turns your fingers red (if your beets are red; there are also lighter colored beets which are now in vogue). It's easy to peel afterwards, and I don't see the point of peeling before roasting. Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: NYchowcook

          This is my method exactly, except that I rub off the skins with a paper towel. It seems to grip the skin well, and it keeps your fingers quite a bit less pink. I agree, it is far better than peeling before roasting.

        2. I roast unpeeled in foil as already mentioned, but I also add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a few drops of olive oil. I think it enhances the flavor of the beets, even after peeling.


            Thanks all for your help. I see now that it actually calls for peeled beets--do you all recommend scrapping that, or if not, what do you use to peel?

            2 Replies
            1. re: maeisner

              Just peel them with a regular vegetable peeler.

              1. re: maeisner

                DEFINITELY peel and cut into chunks (tossed with a bit of olive oil, s & p) before roasting. This results in caramelization over all cut surfaces of the beets, hence more sweet, intense flavour.