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Beets?

I discovered I like beets. I had a fantastic little 'napoleon' that included beets, goat cheese, walnuts and something else.

So I bought 2 beets - what should I do with them???

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  1. I wrap my beets tightly in foil with salt and pepper. You can half them if they are large, but as long as they are relatively the same size I leave them whole. Then roast them (in their skins) in a 375-400 degree oven. Smaller beets for about 30 min. Large ones up to one hour. To me, they give of a certain beety smell when they are done. Carefully open foil packet and they will pierce easily when done. If not, wrap them back up and throw them back in the oven.

    When they are done the skins slip right off the beets. Then the world is yours....make fridge pickles, recreate the napoleon that you referenced above (maybe add little walnut oil and balsamic vinegar), http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/101437...
    this was yummy!! I tend to store my cooked beets in the fridge to add to salads during the week. I even eat them for breakfast mixed with greek yogurt or cottage (in place of fruit).
    And, don't forget the greens. If they are fresh and beautiful you can cook them as you would swiss chard.

    5 Replies
    1. re: pagesinthesun

      I roast my foil-wrapped beets in a hotter oven than you do (425-450), but find that it takes longer (30 minutes for very small ones, 45 minutes for small grocery store ones, up to 1.5 hours for the big ones).

      I love beets and use them in many ways, but a favorite is lots of variations on beet salad. One nice thing about beets is that they taste better when they've been able to soak up dressing for a while, so it's a good make-ahead dish that only improves by sitting overnight. Toss your beets with one part lemon juice, two parts olive oil, a minced shallot/red onion/scallions, salt, pepper, and optional spices of your choosing (cumin and fennel seeds are two favorites.) Before serving, add a handful of chopped herb (parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, arugula/rocket, etc.), and possibly another sliced fruit or vegetable - some favorites of mine are raw fennel, peaches, pears (Asian or European), roasted or steamed carrots or sweet potatoes (can be added to the dressing with the beets rather than waiting until later), or orange segments.

      1. re: pagesinthesun

        Just curious -- why wrap the beets before roasting? I have recently experimented a few times with roasted beets. Didn't know that I was "supposed" to wrap them ... and they came out just fine.

        1. re: almond tree

          Foil-wrapped 'roasted' beets are really being steamed. It's not better or worse than roasting beets in terms of end product, just different. However, it's so easy to do, without having to peel/chop the hard raw beet, that many recipes nowadays call for that method.

          1. re: GilaB

            But that's my point -- not wrapping the beets before roasting makes the process even easier, as well as less wasteful.
            And the beets roasted without wrapping were very tasty and moist.

            1. re: almond tree

              Wrapping makes the skin slide off very easily, with no knifework needed. Unwrapped beets are more work. That's all.

      2. Roast them as mentioned and serve with some roasted fennel, some orange segments, and a vinaigrette made with some orange juice.

        Also, I love cold borscht. A very simple recipe for Lithuanian cold beet soup. It's just beets, kefir (or yogurt or buttermilk), cucumbers, chopped dill, chopped scallions, mixed together to make soup. You can find many recipes online for this.

        Finally, I made this recipe for the first time about a month ago and I've made it twice since. It is absolutely delicious, especially if you like garlic:

        http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/101437...

        1 Reply
        1. re: mwk

          +1 to the borscht rec- i usually leave out the dairy and use sour cream as garnish ontop

          1. Definitely roast them. And whatever you do, be careful when upwrapping them...they will be very hot (and messy!).

            1. Off and on over the last few years, I have tried to like beets and failed, other than the braised beet greens which I made separately. But recently I made some that I do like, and they got better after a few days in the fridge.

              I peeled and diced them raw, browned them in bacon fat, added onion, then braised them with red wine, pomegranate glaze, balsamic vinegar, TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute, and agave nectar. All cooked down to a thick glaze, which was delicious. This is good hot, but I think it's better cool or at room temp. I like it a lot better than any of the roasted beets I have had, which despite all sorts of ingredients added later, still tasted like basement to me.

              2 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                You've just re-invented the "Dutch style" beets of my childhood, but with much fancier ingredients!

                Yes, beets taste somewhat of dirt. To some of us that's appealing, to others a big problem. I think the bacon + sweet-and-sour thing was invented to sell them to everyone.

                1. re: greygarious

                  This was kind of my thinking. Should finally get around to this tonight! Bought brussel sprouts to shave and roast in a pan with some bacon fat!