Roasted Beets

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Roasting beets couldn't be simpler. Having them on hand to add to a salad is like having money in the bank. They'll add an earthy component to your meal when served as a side dish as well. If you can, buy fresh organic beets in the produce section of your local grocer or farmer's market whenever they're in season.

2 or 3 large beets
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut the leafy greens and tips off the beets*. Scrub the beets in cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. (Be careful when working with beets, as beet juice can stain both countertops and clothing).

Place the beets on a large piece of tin foil and onto a baking sheet. Drizzle the beets with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring the sides of the tin foil up and fold both ends over to create an airtight seal that will open at the top. This seal keeps the steam and juices inside.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 1 hour.

Open the tin foil carefully at the top, and pierce the beets with a fork. If they are fork-tender - they are done. If more time is needed, reseal the foil and continue roasting. Check every 8 to 10 minutes until the beets are fork-tender.

Allow the beets to cool, then peel the skin away with a sharp paring knife or potato peeler.

Dice or slice the beets in whatever way you choose, and enjoy!

*Tip: Don't toss those leafy beet greens! Beet greens can be chopped up and used in a salad, seasoned, sautéed, and added to pasta or rice dishes.

Get creative - and have fun!