Best Intro to Beets

I'd like to introduce a veggie-hating friend to beets. He grew up in a house with one basic recipe for vegetables - open can, dump, boil vigorously. It left culinary scars. I've slowly been showing him how properly cooked vegetables are wonderful. Now, he's actually requested to try beets, but that's not a vegetable I usually cook. I don't want to blow this chance, so what are best recommendations for an introduction to beets?

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11 Comments

Maedl January 26, 2014
I roast beets, peel and slice, then dress with olive oil and a good vinegar. Then I place arugula on a plate, add the beets, roasted walnuts, and a goat cheese or Gorgonzola.
 
ATG117 January 26, 2014
I roast, as others have mentioned, peel, drizzle with good evoo, a touch of honey, and flaky sea salt, sometimes also a splash of red wine vinegar. Serve it accompanied by toasted baguette slices and either at least 2% greek yogurt or a mild goat cheese.
 
lilroseglow January 26, 2014
Thanks for all the great input! I am roasting beets tonight for a green salad. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
savorthis January 26, 2014
I hated beets for years. I tried them every year and hate hate hated them until I had them roasted simply in salt at a Japanese restaurant of all places. I decided to try them again at home and roasted them, peeled them, cubed them then roasted again until they were a bit toasty. I made a vinaigrette with orange, balsamic, ground up pistachios and parsley and served the beets with greens and goat cheese. A lot to mask them on that first voyage but it worked! I have since learned to appreciate them with less and agree with the other posters. They are great with citrus, toasty nuts and cheese like a gentle blue, burrata, goat...and Bon appetit just had a stunning looking recipe with white beets and grapefruit...http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grapefruit-and-white-beets-with-yogurt-and-tarragon
 
Trena H. January 25, 2014
This is my new favorite beet recipe. Also, it's a really salad. My husband is a meat and potatoes guy and loves this salad. http://food52.com/recipes/3381-minted-beets-with-cumin-lemon-and-pistachios
 
Trena H. January 25, 2014
...it's a really great salad...doh!
 
Pegeen January 25, 2014
Roast them wrapped in foil, 425 F. When a knife pierces a beet easily, remove from oven, open foil and let cool. Slice cooled beets and toss with the smallest amount of unsalted butter, salt and pepper. Your friend will have to get used to the idea of vegetables roasting for longer periods in the oven, but learning how that long heat brings out the sugars and makes things more delicious will hopefully make it worth the wait.
 
TobiT January 25, 2014
I personally think beets taste best when roasted. It's a simple way to prep that really allows the flavor, color and texture to shine.
There are lots of variations for how to do this, but basically I peel the raw beets, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (no need to be precise), toss in a bit if olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast on a low-sided pan ONE LAYER at 425 until tender and slightly caramel ized (check and move them around in the pan after about 20 minutes), then keep checking every 10 mins.
Sometimes I drizzle with a bit of balsamic about halfway through. Also, sometimes I toss the raw beets with similarly diced sweet potatoes, carrots an/or red onions (well, I leave those in rings) and roast the same way. But the ONE LAYER is the most important, as otherwise the veggies steam and it is totally different.
 
LE B. January 26, 2014
I also prefer beets that have been roasted. This is a brilliant and articulate walk through the ease of roasting correctly.
lilrose, you could serve these as a side dish or add them to a salad (delicious w/ various goat cheeses.)
 
Kate January 25, 2014
THIS ONE!!: http://food52.com/recipes/3302-french-peasant-beets

It's wonderful. The black pepper and bucheron pairing really make it.
 
Monita January 25, 2014
Check out this story in the NYT by Mark Bittman on the various ways to eat beets.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/27/magazine/27-bittman-beets.html?_r=0
Ny favorite is roasting them
 
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