I know with beets you probably think there’s only one option when cooking them at home: stain your hands and your cutting board and your pans and everything you own.
Been there, friends. Lost good t-shirts to the cause of beet research. Here to help.
There are many, many ways to eat beets: roasted, caramelized, raw, braised, pickled and pureed. This is a post about the first two.
Peeling beets is a personal choice. If your beets are pretty small, you’re not roasting very many of them and/or you have a sturdy peeler, go ahead and peel them while they’re raw. If your beets are large, you’re roasting a lot and/or you don’t carry around a reliable peeler in your purse like a certain crazy lady whose blog you read, peel them after they’re cooked. Either way, cut them into uniform pieces so that they cook evenly and wear an apron!
I like to line a heavy bottomed small pot with foil (two layers to be safe), preheat the oven to 375 and toss the beets with oil and salt inside the pot. Bake with the lid on until they’re soft. How long that takes will depends on the size of the beet. Start checking after 30 minutes, though they will likely take 45-60.
Okay! Now you have roasted beets. Enjoy them cold in a salad with cucumbers, pickled squash, goat cheese, herbs and spicy vinaigrette. Remember to add pumpkin seeds and golden raisins even though I forgot.
Now, to caramelize them all you do is put them cut-side down in a well seasoned or non-stick pan heated over medium. The sugar in the beets will start turning into deep caramelization within a minute or so- stay alert! Once they look like this, I think they’re such a nice side dish on their own, or served over something creamy like labneh and topped with a very herb-y dressing like chimichurri.