Beets Anna with Maple Butter

September 29, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

My husband hates beets. I mean really hates them - he hates the taste, hates the smell of them roasting in the oven, hates what they look like as they recline gloriously in the refrigerator. So since he's out of town this week, and the theme is roots, I HAD to make something with beets. All evidence of the crime will be completely erased by the time he gets home on Saturday. And that's not easy with beets.

I've done beets a million ways, but this week I had something new in mind. I wanted to try to layer them in a Pommes Anna style and roast them. Honestly, I ran out of time to try various ways of doing the roasting, but what I can tell you is that the way I did it worked like a charm. I first roasted the beets wrapped in foil until they were just tender, sliced them as thinly as I could manage and then layered them in an oven-proof pan, layered with a sauce made of reduced apple cider, butter and maple syrup. I added a few sprigs of fresh time on top and sealed it all in foil to roast again. I reserved some of the yummy sauce to pour on it when it came out of the oven. The result was a tender, beautiful Beets Anna scented lightly with thyme that just melted in my mouth with the maple butter. It held together beautifully and kept its shape when sliced, which I had been concerned about since beets can be slippery little devils. The overall result: sublime.

I chose not to go with a topping and just kept it simple, but you could top this with crumbled bacon or some cracked walnuts. - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian

Test Kitchen Notes

Beets are a divider food; I happen to be on the "love 'em" side of the dividing line so I was thrilled to test ChezSuzanne's glorious recipe. If you are a beet fan, do not hesitate to make this dish. The beets are roasted then assembled into an elegant presentation. The maple butter is a little tangy from the cider, and it melds perfectly with the earthy sweetness of the beets. The thyme gently perfumes the whole dish. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper, lest the dish be too sweet. I used a regular 8-inch saut√© pan, and sprayed it with some non-stick cooking spray before assembly. I flipped mine over as described in the recipe, but removed the pan immediately. The beet "cake" stayed perfectly intact in all its jewel-toned, glistening glory. This is delicious as is, and even better with a sprinkle of toasted walnuts and gorgonzola. I highly recommend you make this for any beet lover you want to impress. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds beets (not including the leaf stalks attached)
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 - 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove the stalks from the beets and scrub them. Rub them in enough olive oil to cover them and wrap them individually in foil. Roast until just tender. For the size of my beets, this took about an hour. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Pour the apple cider in a pot and reduce it to 1/2 cup. Add the butter and maple syrup and continue to heat until the butter is melted.
  3. Remove the skins from the beets - they should just slide right off - and thinly slice. Start to layer them in a pan (I used a 6" non-stick pan), slightly overlapping them as you move around the bottom of the pan. When you have 1 layer down, lightly salt and pepper them with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Using a tablespoon, pour 2 tablespoons of maple butter over the top. Add another layer of beets, overlapping them as before and repeat the pinch of salt and pepper and 2 - 3 tablespoons of maple butter. I did a total of 3 layers and had several beet slices left over. Make sure you have some maple butter left over for serving.
  4. Increase the oven to 425 F. Heat the beets over medium heat until the maple butter sauce is simmering all around the beets for about 3 - 4 minutes. Place the thyme sprigs on top and cover the pan with foil.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.
  6. To flip the Beets Anna out of the pan, I placed a plate over the pan and then quickly flipped them over so that the pan was upside down over the plate. I was concerned about the beets sliding around a bit, so I kept the pan over it for another 15 minutes before removing it. It's possible you don't need to do this, but it worked great!
  7. Reheat the maple butter and drizzle it on the top. Sprinkle some thyme leaves on top before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cookinginvictoria
  • Lizthechef
  • hardlikearmour
  • Bevi
  • gingerroot

36 Reviews

Swizzle January 22, 2024
Brilliant! I'm going to try it roasted w/bay, then w/a pomegranate reduction & pom molasses, less butter, then top with a pistachio/pist oil aillade, maybe with a hint of orange peel. Thank you for the inspiration!
cookinginvictoria October 4, 2011
Wow, this looks so gorgeous. And I love the flavor combination that you have created here -- roasted beets, apple cider, maple syrup -- it all sounds so yummy, But then again I am a big beets fan. I am adding this recipe to my list of recipes to try soon. And congrats on being a new blogger!! I just signed up for your blog. Your photos are so beautiful and eye-catching. I'll explore the content tomorrow morning when I have more time.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 4, 2011
Thanks so much cookinginvictoria! I'd love to hear what you think if you try them. And thanks sooo much for your feedback on my fledging blog!!! It's really so fun to do!
Lizthechef October 1, 2011
WOW, I totally missed this and cannot wait to try it. I came to love beets late in life and need to make up for lost time. Thumbs up!!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 1, 2011
Thanks so much Liz! Let me know if you try it - I'd love to know your thoughts. Have a GREAT weekend!
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
Wow, CS! Your blog is gorgeous. I had no idea how much effort went into growing and harvesting "on-deev!"
TheWimpyVegetarian September 30, 2011
Thanks HLA!!! It's still very much a work in progress. And yes, growing and harvesting "on-deev" was really a revelation. Other large growers have tried to do it, and haven't been successful. Rich apprenticed at a farm in Belgium for 2 years and learned a lot from it.
Bevi September 30, 2011
These look yummy! My husband adores beets, so I will be able to make this overtly! I loved your blog - the story of your trip to the endive farm was so interesting and your photos are beautiful!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 30, 2011
Thanks so much Bevi!!! Lucky you to be able to openly cook beets :-) I hope you like this dish if you make it - and would love to hear your thoughts. And thanks so much for visiting my new blog - I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about the endive farm. Amazing place.
gingerroot September 30, 2011
This is gorgeous. I can almost taste the tender beets enveloped by the maple butter. Yum. Add me to the list of people who just signed up for your blog!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 30, 2011
Thanks so much gingerroot!!! I hope you like both! I'm really having such fun with the blog right now.
Midge September 29, 2011
Such an elegant recipe ChezSuzanne!
Midge September 29, 2011
Your blog looks great! I just signed up for it.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks so much Midge for your comments on this recipe and on my shiny new blog!! And thanks for subscribing!! If you have one, please let me know so I can subscribe to it!!
ashleychasesdinner September 29, 2011
I love it ChezSuzanne! I am on my way to follow! I did the same thing when I started my blog. Yes, I am following myself. LOL!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Oh thank God, I'm not the only one this has happened to. I'm laughing here too! I'm going onto your blog now!!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
I just subscribed to your blog! It looks beautiful! I am making your pears for sure!
ashleychasesdinner September 29, 2011
Great news about your blog ChezSuzanne. Leave the link so we can follow!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
It's Just started it last week, so it's still pretty new. I'm all the way up to 4 subscribers now, and one of them I think is me from when I hit the subscribe button to demonstrate it to my husband :-) The idea is that I've tried to go vegetarian a number of times, but wimp out when I run across a great recipe with fish, or meat. Sometimes I just can't resist it. But all in all, I've gone with a diet that's at least MOSTLY vegetarian. If you look at it, I'd love to hear what you think!!
boulangere September 29, 2011
Incredibly beautiful and extremely clever - love the outside-the-potato thinking.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks so much b!! They actually turned out so well, I'm now playing with a Pear Anna with browned butter and spices. They're even more slippery, but I've got an idea of how to do it. We need another pear week! Oh and hey, I got my blog up and running last week!! How are you coming with yours??!!
boulangere September 29, 2011
OMG, fantastic congratulations to you! I'm off tomorrow, so will greatly look forward to it with my morning coffee. I've had a couple of extremely strenuous weeks - lots of student issues - so I've not gotten back to it. I've set a more realistic goal of January 2012. I'm sleeping better now. And a Pear Anna sounds delish.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
"Sleeping better" is more important than almost anything in my book. And I understand about priorities that compete with what we want to do. Seriously, if you do read it and have any comments - and that goes for anyone here - I would love to hear them. I'm a newbie and have much to learn and am figuring it out one post at a time and hopefully finding my voice along the way.
boulangere September 29, 2011
drbabs September 29, 2011
OMG, I almost missed this. I love this. I love how the maple butter must bring out the sweetness of the beets. I used to hate beets and now I can't get enough of them. Love. Love. Love.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks so much drbabs!! You're right, and the reduced apple cider puts a little fruit flavor in there with it all. The flavors are some of my favorite fall and early winter flavors. I'm really so tempted to try it on my husband when he gets home it's so good, but it's hard to disguise beets. They're so....distinctively colorful! Nothing shy about their color at all.
lapadia September 29, 2011
Wow, great idea ChezSuzanne! I like beets plain right after they are roasted, the only time I don't like them is when they are pickled, which seems to be popular, so I am always looking for other ways, this is unique, thanks!!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks lapadia!!! Yes, exactly. I wanted to do something very straightforward for this dish to let the beets sing an aria. It's really pretty easy to make too. I used a small skillet since I wasn't sure how it would all hold together when I flipped it, but it was fine. If you wanted, you could top it with some crumbled bacon or walnuts too.
Niknud September 29, 2011
This sounds just delicious. My husband is a former beet-hater, recently converted. Can't wait to try this out on him!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks Niknud!! Please let me know how you guys like it!!
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
A*MAZ*ING! My husband and I both love beets, and this looks over-the-top good.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks HLA!!! Please let me know what you think if you make this. It's really pretty easy but looks kind of fancy!
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
BTW your photos are gorgeous!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks so much!!! I'm actually signed up to take a 1-day photography class in a couple weeks focused on food styling and photography. I am so excited about it!
ashleychasesdinner September 29, 2011
I love your story and the recipe! My husband hates beets as well, but he wasn't leaving town and has had to endure my beet recipe too!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 29, 2011
Thanks ASP!! I haven't had a chance to be on food52 much this week - I'm going to go look for your beet recipe right now!