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Roasted Beets - To Wrap or Not To Wrap

i'm roasting some gorgeous beets from the farmers market but can't decide whether to wrap them in foil or not.

what to do? what are the pros and cons or wrapping your beets?

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  1. I think I'd post this on Home Cooking. I put olive oil in a pan & roast mine, BTW, unwrapped.

    1. unwrapped! I steam mine for a bit, so they take less time, and roast with olive oil... (or I slice really really thin - think chip-like - toss them in olive oil and pepper, and roast them... they get crunchy and delicious! you have to watch them, though, they tend to burn all of a sudden) mmmm...w/e you decide, enjoy them!

      1. I cut to size, toss with olive oil & seasoning & roast unwrapped. Good every time!

        1. I wrap -- unless you peel them and cut them up, I find that the outsides get too leathery if they're not wrapped. If you wrap them, then the peel slips right off and the beets are silky and tender.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Ditto. I wrap them with nothing on them and roast. Skins come right off that way.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I also wrap, and have found that Goin's method of putting them in a pan (I use a pyrex brownie pan), tossing with some olive oil and salt, adding a splash of water and covering with foil works better than just wrapping them in foil. I use surgical gloves when I peel them.

              1. re: MMRuth

                I use a metal brownie pan, add nothing to the beets but cover the pan with foil. Using paper towels to rub the skin off is very easy. They finish so sweet that I usually just slice and plate them on a serving dish.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  MMRuth, what oven temp do you use for this method? Just bought some fresh beets for first time and am SO glad this thread is running! Also, do you use the greens in a saute?

                  1. re: Val

                    I have to confess to not having used the greens - trying to like bitter greens, but not doing well!

                    400 degrees - and just checked, and Goin's recipe calls for 40 minutes. I check them with a knife - depending on the size, the time varies.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Funny, me too. I love beets, but still haven't got the taste for beet greens. I've tried many different ways of cooking them, but it just doesn't do it for me. I think it's the one and only type of greens that I can leave.

                      I also roast my beets the Goin way.

                      1. re: beetlebug

                        I made beet greens for the first time last night. I fried just a little bacon and then tossed some minced garlic and red onion in and sauteed. I threw in the beet greens for a bit until they wilted, salted and peppered and then added a splash of balsalmic vinegar right before serving. I didn't find them bitter at all.

                        1. re: heathernh1

                          I agree. I'm sensitive to bitterness, and I don't find beet greens to be bitter. Think of them as red chard. :-)

                          1. re: heathernh1

                            I can't even imagine a bitter beet green! They're basically the same thing as Swiss chard, though I think earthier and sweeter. Since Mrs. O likes neither beet greens nor chard, I don't have to share them, either! Yum yum.

                2. Depending on whether I plan to pay attention to them or not, I do both. Wrapping keeps them from drying out if I get busy and forget about what's in the oven.

                  1. I never wrap. I wash and put on my gas grill with the lid down. Skins come right off after cooling, and mine turn out awesome time after time. Love, love, love roasted beets!

                    1. I always wrap, and they always come out perfectly. Yes, skins slip right off. I don't need to fret that they'll burn. I dress with a little lemon, sometimes add some blue cheese and toasty walnuts.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foxy fairy

                        If you like your roasted beets with blue cheese, you'll love them with wasabi goat cheese.

                        We live near Capriole Farm--they make fresh goat cheese with wasabi. I've made it at home when I can't readily buy Capriole--it takes a lot of wasabi paste, and I added a bit of horseradish from a jar to boost its zing.

                      2. I just throw mine with the skin on (hopefully all are the same size so they cook evenly) on a baking dish and put them in 375-400F oven. No wrapping, no oil, nothing. I test them with a fork, when soft inside I take them out let them cool down. The rest is done using rubber gloves :)))))

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: polish_girl

                          AM I the only one that peels beets and roast them skins off? Orange beets, peeled, thinly sliced and grilled are great!

                          1. re: rudeboy

                            Nope, I also peel and cut them into chunks before roasting. Never wrap, part of the point of roasting is to intensify the flavor by dehydrating them a bit. If you're going to wrap them you might as well just steam them.

                        2. Given the 50/50ness of the responses so far (I'm a wrapper myself) why not try half wrapped & half not together and decide which you like?

                          1. After all this, I made roasted beets for lunch. Yummo! Don't crucify me for my Rachel Ray reference. Just for this once, TRY to be kind and gracious.

                            Here's my point. I think if you wrap, the beets will lean more towards "steamed" and if you don't wrap they will be more roasted. Roasting, I think will result in more development of sugars. I think the flavor will be richer and more complex. Beets are great, and have a lot of sugar, so either way you can't go wrong. I lean more towards unwrapped for additional flavor, but wrapping, I'm sure is good too.

                            1. For me, it all depends on what I am using them for. For salads, I wrap individually in foil and roast at 450, then peel. Ditto if I want to eat them cold or have leftovers. As others mentioned, wrapping is more like steaming. It preserves their color and results in juicier beets.

                              To eat on their own in their unadulterated glory, unwrapped. Carmelized yummines.

                              Enjoy the beets!

                              1. Unwrapped- but always in a "salt bed"-that way the juices don't stain my roasting pans. They come out great- a trick from my restaurant days. Use a box of kosher salt to line to bottom of your pan and then nestle the beets in the salt. I reuse the salt(save in a plastic bag after each use). This is the best way to roast whole root vegetables, in my opinion- and no, they are not overly salty...

                                1. I don't wrap. I put them straigt onto the oven racks and roast. i've never had a problem with them being rubbery or issues getting the skins off...slip right off very easily.