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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?

asked by lilroseglow almost 3 years ago
11 answers 1154 views
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Monita

Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added almost 3 years ago

Check out this story in the NYT by Mark Bittman on the various ways to eat beets.
http://www.nytimes.com...
Ny favorite is roasting them

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added almost 3 years ago

THIS ONE!!: http://food52.com/recipes...

It's wonderful. The black pepper and bucheron pairing really make it.

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added almost 3 years ago

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.

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added almost 3 years ago

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.)

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 3 years ago

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.

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added almost 3 years ago

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...

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added almost 3 years ago

...it's a really great salad...doh!

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added almost 3 years ago

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...

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added almost 3 years ago

Thanks for all the great input! I am roasting beets tonight for a green salad. I'll let you know how it goes.

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added almost 3 years ago

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.

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 3 years ago

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.