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Roasted beets- quick question

Gin and It Feb 26, 2007 05:42 AM

Do you peel them, or not?

  1. Scagnetti Feb 26, 2007 02:26 PM

    I've noticed a big difference in taste between the ones with the tops already lopped off versus the ones with the tops still on. The lopped off ones don't taste as good.

    1. f
      FlavoursGal Feb 26, 2007 01:27 PM

      I prefer to roast beets peeled and cut up. I usually cut them into 1/2-inch cubes or sticks. Toss them with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, if desired. Spread out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake at 425F for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized and tender. The beets turn out unbelievably sweet, and the colour is really intense.

      2 Replies
      1. re: FlavoursGal
        MeowMixx Feb 26, 2007 01:51 PM

        Do you cover them?

        1. re: MeowMixx
          FlavoursGal Feb 26, 2007 02:50 PM

          No, don't cover them. Leaving them exposed allows them to caramelize better.

          I've made endive salads, using some of the roasted beet pieces in the salad, and made a vinaigrette using the balance of the beets, pureed in the blender or food processor along with vinegar (your choice), a bit of orange juice, extra virgin olive oil (or yogurt or sour cream), salt, pepper, and herbs. The vinaigrette is a gorgeous colour - almost fuschia - and it's lovely drizzled onto the salad (or it's great on grilled or pan-fried fish, too).

      2. Will Owen Feb 26, 2007 12:54 PM

        I've roasted them both individually wrapped and together in a foil-covered pan, and both methods worked OK, though I think the wrapped ones cooked more evenly all around. I wash the worst of the dirt off if necessary, trim the stems to a little over an inch from the top, and leave as much root on as seems reasonable. The trick to cleaning and peeling them while they're still fairly hot (and this works for boiled potatoes as well) is RUBBER GLOVES. I get those cotton-lined yellow Playtex things that come in packs of two for $3-something, because I'm always cutting into them (yes, I'm clumsy). Anyway, these divert enough of the heat so that you can hold a vegetable that's almost boiling hot and work on it without hurting yourself, and the treads on the fingertips makes rubbing the peel off of beets very easy indeed.

        1. p
          ptridel Feb 26, 2007 06:31 AM

          I wouldn't put them in cold water after cooking, you lost the opportunity to season them while warm and have the seasoning penetrate into the center.
          Here's a great method for perfect tasty red beets for salad: simmer, skin on, whole, in salty water until a paring knife slides out easily. Drain, cool for 5 minutes, peel, slice or batonette according to desire, and WHILE STILL WARM, sprinkle with some nice red wine vinegar and some salt. Allow to marinate like this at room temperature until cool, and finish with some nice oil to make them shiny. If you like beets you will be happy. If you don't like beets you just might.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ptridel
            rudeboy Feb 26, 2007 11:28 AM

            Try the orange beets next time - to me it is a different (and better) flavor. They roast really well peeled, cut into chunks, and tossed with things. Sometimes I top them off with some goat cheese after roasting.

          2. Gio Feb 26, 2007 06:04 AM

            I put unpeeled beets in an 8"X8" pan, cover with aluminum foil, peel them after roasting between 2 sheets of paper towel. Minimal bleed through, and easy to handle.

            1. v
              valerie Feb 26, 2007 06:00 AM

              Here is a link to a thread that I started when I (actually my daughter) discovered beets.

              Agree with wrapping individually in foil, but BEWARE -- they are unbelieveably hot when you unwrap the foil. Put them in cold water first.


              1. Raedia Feb 26, 2007 05:52 AM

                I did some last night - just wrapped the whole things in foil, unpeeled. Like zenright said, the skins just slip off... but wear gloves when you peel them, because those bad boys STAIN.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Raedia
                  Gin and It Feb 26, 2007 05:58 AM

                  Thanks guys, I want to use them sliced in a salad ultimately, so I think I'll try the foil method.

                2. z
                  zenright Feb 26, 2007 05:47 AM

                  I find that it depends. If you roast them whole the skins will simply slip off after roasting and then you can cut them up easily afterwards. You can also peel cut and roast, this method creates pieces that have more caramelization and are have crispy edges. So it really depends on what the desired result is.

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