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How to make roasted beets

February 17, 2012

Roasting is generally agreed to be the best way to get the most flavor out of you beets. When buying beets try to find ones that are slightly larger than a golf ball. These smaller beets are usually more readily available during the summer season and are sweeter than the larger ones. In the winter you’re more likely to find larger, baseball sized beets. Though they may be less sweet they still have wonderful flavor. try to buy beets that are a consistent size, whether large or small. And try to avoid excessively large beets, for they can have a woody texture.

To roast your beets, Preheat your oven to 375º. It is not necessary to peel the beets before cooking, but make sure they are scrubbed of most dirt. Don’t worry too much about root or stem bits, they will get peeled off after cooking. Put your beets in a bowl and toss with oil and salt. place the beets in a baking dish. They can be baked, covered straight away, but I recommend adding a bit of liquid and herbs to give the beets a little extra flavor and to ensure that the pan doesn’t burn. Try adding a bay leaf or some fresh thyme, then put some fresh cider, orange juice or white wine in the pan. Cover the beets tightly with aluminum foil and bake. Small beets can cook in about 30 minutes whereas large beets can take upwards of 1 1/2 hours. To check doneness of the beets, peel the foil back carefully to avoid the steam and insert a paring knife or fork into the beet. When the knife slides easily to the center, they are ready. Let the beets cool slightly before peeling them. To peel them use a paper towel or cloth napkin, the peel should slide right off if they are properly cooked. You can serve them immediately after cooking, or let them cool for later use as in a beet salad. If the juice in the bottom of the pan has remained clean and tasty it can be reserved to dress the beets as well. I used golden beets for the pictures, they cook the same as red beets but are a little less messy. All beets can be roasted in this manner, Enjoy!

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