Good old beets. Pretty, huh? You either love them or you hate them. It’s just one of those things. Like Marmite. I fell in love with beets years ago when I first had them over a frisee salad with goat cheese and a red wine herb vinaigrette. I remember thinking the colors were so pretty. Red, golden, blush, champagne… and the texture was so delicate. Silken almost yet still a wee bit starchy on the backend. And the flavor, earthy, yet slightly sweet. Ahh yes…
And then one day I had a beet juice, which is definitely an acquired taste. But when you mix it with another fresh sweet fruit, like say pineapple, orange, or apple, the flavor is definitely more bearable, sweetened and you feel less like your drinking a sweet boot tonic, and more like actual juice. Ok, I know I’m not doing much to convince you non beet eaters, but here me out.
When they’re cooked (or raw depending upon how they’re served), beets can add great dimension and flavor to a meal. And I don’t have to tell you about the deep and vibrant colors they add to any dish. I mean, just look at them! Gorgeous. Which is important since we eat with our eyes first, before anything else.
Not to mention they’re good for you. I mean REALLY good for you. (Ok, non beet eaters, this is the sales pitch, so get ready). Don’t worry I’m not gonna get all dieticiany or Dr. Oz on you, just know that besides adding fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet, they also help detox/cleanse the body. Yes they are starchy, and yes they help detox. NO this does not mean you can go on a starchy tuber eating binge and get the same effect. So put the potatoes DOWN, and just hear me out.
Umm, so this is the part where I get a little Dr. Oz on you (sorry, I lied) just a bit. Consider it more, elemental than anything. Ok, ready? Potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, folic acid, vitamins A, B, C, blah, blah blah. All of theses and a few other nutrient rich goodies, are inside every beet. So yeah, they’re pretty darn great. The kicker? They can even help prevent cancer! YEAH. Thats the biggie right there. That pretty much trumps everything else. (This is the part where your eyes get wide and you run to the store and buy a bunch of beets. Yes this is allowed). As if that isn’t enough, they are also a complex carbohydrate (the good carb), low in calories and have zero fat. Well, until drizzled with olive oil that is (the good fat). So it’s pretty much a win any way you cut it. Non-beet eaters, are you convinced yet? You should be.
I love them pretty much any way they’re served. Roasted, mashed, pickled, juiced, raw… you name it, I’ll eat it. So many options. However, roasting them brings out the sweetness and changes the rigid starchy texture in to a softer, again, silkier bite. Also, when roasted, they taste less like you’re eating a dirty old shoe, and more like a slightly sweet soft beautiful jewels they are. Oh and I love, love, LOVE throwing in bit of fresh herbs (rosemary here) and drizzling with olive oil, to infuse a bit more flavor to them. And once they’ve cooled off, they’re super easy to peel. Then just slice, or dice and serve however you’d like. Warm, room temperature or chilled. (I find that room temperature is best since the flavors come out more).
So go ahead, get some beets in your life, and if you’re already eating them , then kudos to you! Your’e ahead of the health game. So long as you’re not battering and deep frying them! Which actually might be good, with a garlic aioli dipping sauce… But let’s stay focused here people! Right: beets. If you’re not eating them, your seriously missing out.
- 2-3 beets (stem removed, washed and dried)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- few sprigs fresh herb of choice
- salt (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350…
Line a casserole dish or baking sheet with foil. Tear another sheet of foil, either large enough to fit each beet individually or to fit all of them at once, then Grab your beets and place them in the foil. Pull foil up around the edges of the beets, so the sides come up. Poke hole in the tops and dies of the beets with a fork then drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and fresh herbs, then seal foil on all sides, completely covering beets. Roast for about 35-45 minutes or until fork tender… and voile! You’ve just roasted beets my friend. Slice, dice and enjoy!