Oh, Those Golden Beets

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I was chatting with my 86 year old Dad the other day, when out of the blue he said, “You know, I really enjoy beets.” It ignited a wonderful conversation about beets, particularly our fondness for golden beets. Golden beets are lighter and less intense than red beets, thus blend with other foods so well. We waxed on about the many fine qualities of beets, so it is not surprising that I had “beets on the brain” when I went to our local market.

Sprouts beets

How could I pass these beauties up? I only purchased three that were loose instead of the full beets and greens, but I wish that I had bought more. Did you know that the beet greens are edible? My Dad told me this, and said he planned to use them next time he’s making Gumbo Z’herbes, a recipe first introduced to us through Leon Soniat’s bible of Creole cooking, La Bouche Creole. My dog-eared copy always reminds me of the wonderful times we enjoyed in New Orleans while my Dad, a retired Naval Captain, was stationed there in the 80’s.

Back to the beets: I always find that the simplest preparations are the best when it comes to root vegetables. Seriously, I barely do anything to them so that their spectacular flavors shine through. Roasting takes such little effort and reliably produces excellent results.

The natural sugars in beets caramelize when roasted, making for a sweet yet savory combo that’s just heaven on a salad or just as-is, right out of the oven.  Roasting also softens the skin so you may not even need a peeler to peel them. I had intended to chill my beets to use on a salad with a little goat cheese and arugula, but I have to tell you – they never made it to the refrigerator. I just ate them warm, right after I took the picture!

I’m thinking about a side of golden beets on our Thanksgiving table this year…something new and different, that everyone will enjoy.  Here you go, and I hope you enjoy them too.

Roasted Golden Beets

Yield: About 1 to 1/2 cups

Ingredients

3 small or medium-sized beets  (I would totally double or triple this if I were you)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked pepper
Foil for wrapping

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Prepare the beets: Wash any dirt off without scrubbing the skin off. Slice off the root-end and the top.
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2. Rub the beets in olive oil. Place on a small square (or rectangle) of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper.

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3. Wrap the beets in foil and place on a shallow baking pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.

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4. Let rest for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove the foil and peel the beets.

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5. Slice, dice and enjoy warm or cold!

Really. That’s it. The beets do all the work for you. And they are so darn good.

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