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Cooking Beets for a Salad

I always cook beets by roasting them at 400 degrees. I keep the skin on and toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

But recently we had a salad at a restaurant and the beets were sweet and were crisper then when I roast them. Now I'm wondering if they were roasted or cooked another way. I always thought that roasting would give them more flavor, but is there another way that will give a crisp texture?

The salad featured brussel sprouts, cauliflower, red leaf lettuce and carrots. I'm very sure that the cauliflower and brussel sprouts were steamed, then shocked. The carrots were probably roasted.
Thanks everyone!

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  1. I wrap them in foil and roast until soft. Then I let cool a bit, peel, and cut into wedges or slices. Toss with a bit of oil or vinaigrette and roast at 425 for 10 - 15 minutes. Edges get nice and crispy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CanadaGirl

      Interesting. I'm curious whether they could be nuked instead of the initial roast.

      1. re: jvanderh

        they sure can. just don't wrap them in foil for that ;)

    2. I would think it more likely that the vegetables where boiled in salted water, rather than steamed, since this keeps the bright green color more than steaming would. The beets could have still been roasted but less cooked.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefj

        That make sense. The brussel sprouts were bright green.

      2. DAISY, i never understand why people feel they have to wrap beets to roast them. I treat them like my other roasted veggies.

        Peel beets; cut into small wedges; toss w/ oil and little minced garlic, kosher S and coarse pepper. Roast 400 degrees or more til 5 minutes away from being easily pierced. Top w/ some OJ concentrate, toss, put back in to finish roasting.

        3 Replies
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          I do it because it makes them way easier to peel. I also feel they cook a but faster as they steam a bit. I do throw them back in at the end like you do, just to get crispy edges.

          1. re: CanadaGirl

            I do it because it makes them way easier to peel.
            ~~~~~~~~~~
            very true. but if you want to save yourself the trouble of pulling them from the oven & rubbing off the skins while they're hot, i've found that a pair of latex gloves & a vegetable peeler make easy work of raw beets.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Yep. Plus- the purpose of roasting is to bring forth the sugars, not to steam them. if you cut them in small wedges, they only take 15-20 minutes.

        2. I just received the Eleven Madison Park cookbook. The photos are just amazing and the recipes are really complicated. However, they have a recipe for pickled beets that sounds like this might be it....the beets are cut thinly on a madoline and boiling vinegar is poured over them. I'm wondering if this may be the technique to get the "cooked but crunchy" texture. I'm telling you that salad was just amazing. The dressing was red wine vingegar, coriander, olive oil, and honey and garlic. (at least that's what I came up with).