Beet salad is so hot right now. It seems to be on the menu of every New American restaurant, at least. I never liked beets until I tried these trendy roots roasted in a salad. Before then, I had only had beets pickled, which was my mom’s favorite but too acidic for me as a kid (I didn’t really like pickled anything until I was in my late 20’s). I started roasting beets along with my carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes when I roasted chicken. When I came across this video on How to Roast Beets the Easy Way, I gave it a try and have been making my own roasted beet salad ever since.
Buying: Most grocery stores stock beets, but I try to buy mine from the farmers’ market when they’re in season. The farmer I buy my beets from and the narrator of the video (above) swear by cutting the greens from the beets as soon as possible to preserve the sweetness and freshness of the beet.
Preparing: Once you get your beets home, scrub and rinse them to get rid of any dirt. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer peel, and cut off the top (where the stem was attached). Use a paper towel to blot off any extra water.
Roasting: Place the prepared beets on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with coconut or grapeseed oil (something with a high smoke point, so save the olive oil for drizzling over after they roast), sprinkle with sea salt, then cover with another piece of aluminum foil and seal well. The goal is to make an airtight pocket for the beets to roast in. Place the beet pocket in a baking pan with sides (in case anything leaks out), and place in a 425-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the beets). You’ll know they’re done if you can easily prick them with a fork. And the cleanup? Crumple up the aluminum foil and give a quick hand wash to the pan, then you’re done! When you slice the beets, however, your hands and the cutting board may remind you of Dexter‘s workspace.
Let the beets cook before slicing, and store in the refrigerator if you don’t eat them right away. I eat them plain sometimes, or make them into a salad with spinach and blue cheese, watermelon and feta, or pears and sliced almonds.