Do you ever look at beets in the produce aisle and think “those look pretty, but nah, too much work?” I sometimes do, because of the time and mess they create, but when I’m really craving them or my husband asks for them, I always take the time, because it’s so very worth the effort.
They are beautiful and the rich sweetness combined with the color and texture make them such a wonderful side dish or addition to a salad.
This is the way I make them and I have a few things I do when preparing them to make it a little less messy on your hands and for clean up. I prefer to roast beets, as I think they taste the best this way. The flavor from roasting them is so much sweeter than boiling, where you lose a lot of it in the water.
I first cut off the long stems and leaves, and I stop myself from cutting off the root because I use this for a ‘handle’ to hold them.
(Leave the root before peeling to hang on to it. Here’s the difference between peeled and unpeeled.)
I take paper towel and wrap it around the root, and then use a vegetable peeler to get the peel off. I peel directly into my sink. If you have a garbage disposal, then this makes it a lot easier, but if not, you might want to do it over a receptacle of some sort to catch the peel right off the bat so you don’t have the purple juice seeping into your cutting board or counter tops.
Once I’ve got the peel off, I lop off the root and it’s ready to dice.
I know some people don’t mind the reddish purple stain on their hands when working with them, but I like to minimize that as much as possible, so I very often take a fork, stick it into the raw peeled beet to hold it in place and then use a sharp knife to cut thick slices and then chop them up into big pieces.
I used three for this recipe and this is how much I got from it (This is a dinner sized plate)
I put the pieces into a bowl and toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper.
Then I transfer them onto a baking sheet and throw them into a preheated oven at 400 degrees.
I baked these for 30 minutes and I turned them two times, every ten minutes or so. They shrink in size and get a nice rich dark purple color on them.
These are so tasty just as they are with no additional herbs or spices, and they can be served right away while they are hot as a side dish, or you can chill them in the fridge and use them for another dish, like a salad.
Because I planned to make a citrus based, warm kale salad with them, I made a juice to toss them in to marinade for a little while. I took a whole, large orange and one lemon and juiced them both. I got about ¼ cup of juice from both.
Pour that fresh citrus over the top of the beets and toss it all together. There’s something magical about the sweetness of the roasted beets with the punch of the citrus that sends these over the top I tell ya! Gorgeous!
When I made up my salads later, I very briefly sauteed my chopped up kale in a pan with a citrus vinaigrette to soften it and warm it up and added salt and pepper.
Here’s how I made my vinaigrette:
½ cup of olive oil
¼ cup of white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon of finely grated lemon and orange zest
A pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste
I took my warm beets and all the citrus juice they were sitting in and added it to the pan so the kale would get nice and coated with that beautiful tasting purple juice. It all heated up together and the two became one.
I took my warmed kale and beets and plated it and added some fresh slices of orange, and some salted cashews.
It’s warm, simple, and feels like fall. Salads don’t always have to be cold. This was actually very satisfying and filling and the taste was fantastic! If my red meat eating husband approves, then I know I have a winner!
– The Homesteaders Wife