Roast Beets

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lentil & beet salad-4

Roast Beets

Beets are my favourite root veg for roasting. Great to do on a Sunday afternoon so you have roast veg at your disposal for super quick lunches and dinners.

takes: about 60-70 minutes
makes: as many as you cook!

1-2 bunches beets
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, optional
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Remove any stalks from the veg and scrub them well. Chop into bite sized wedges – either quarters, sixths or eighths. The smaller you chop, the faster they will cook.

3. Splash with balsamic vinegar, if using and the olive oil.

4. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the veg are tender. Season.

Variations

different root veg – beets, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin (not strictly a root vegetable), parsnips, swedes (rutabagas). You could also use a mixture of the above. Potatoes can be cooked this way but the texture is better if you boil them first and roast uncovered.

different vinegar – balsamic is brilliant with beets but feel free to use other vinegar such as sherry vinegar, rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.

carnivore – sprinkle a little chopped pancetta or bacon over the veg before covering and roasting.

to peel or not to peel? – I pretty much never peel any root veg, Just give them a good scrub. There’s heaps of flavour and nutrients in the skins so much better, and not to mention easier to leave the skins on. Even pumpkin skins are delicious when roasted in this way.

uncovered – I find that covering helps keep the beets moist and tender and you still get enough browning deliciousness. Feel free to uncover for some or all of the baking it you like. Just be careful your beets don’t dry out too much and go woody.

Usage Suggestions

salads – wonderful with soft goats cheese.

with greens – use the beet tops to make wilted greens and toss the beets in.

charred beet salad – BBQ cooked beets until charred on the outside and toss with rocket (arugula) and balsamic dressing.

beet hummus – replace the chickpeas in a classic hummus with roast beets.

beet pesto – replace the basil in pesto for a heavenly coloured sauce – tastes much better than you’d think.

beet curry – a Sri Lankan classic. Use roast beets instead of protein in this lovely creamy curry.

soup – replace the canned beets with roast beets in this unusual but delicious soup.

beet caviarthis is a lovely and exotic sauce to serve with fish, chicken or pork. Or serve with turkish or other crusty bread to soak up the deliciousness.

Prepare Ahead?

Absolutely. Takes 60-70 minutes. I like to make up a big batch to have on hand for quick meals during the week.

Storage Best Practices

Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks or so. Can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

beets – keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. If you chop off the tops the beets will last even longer.

vinegar, olive oil – pantry.

Problem Solving Guide

burning – reduce the heat and turn the veg more frequently. Make sure your foil is well sealed to prevent drying out. A splash of water can retard the burning process.

hard / dry veg – not cooked for long enough OR cooked at too high a temperature and not covered enough. Veg are much less sensitive to overcooking than meat.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Johanna Almon November 15, 2015

Hi Jules,
I made these yesterday after finding a great deal on root vegetables (winter is coming!), but peeled them (with gloves on!) and just threw them in the oven with salt, olice oil and a little balsamic. They are still a little crunchy after 30 minutes at 200°C, but I like it that way and the taste ist amazing and I just ate the rest cold out of the box in the fridge. No lunch-beets for me tomorrow….
Will definately do again!
Greetings from Germany,
Johanna

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jules November 19, 2015

Great Johanna!
You should try not peeling… it saves so much time and if you don’t want to want to eat the skins they slip off really easily once cooked.
Jx

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