It is beet season again. This powerhouse veggie is often overlooked and many people feel they do not like beets since they have not eaten beets prepared properly. I can understand this sentiment when most people are exposed to beets that have been canned and have a weird mushy texture.
Other aspect of cooking with beets that many people do not enjoy is how juice from red beets will stain your hands, cutting board, cleaning towels etc.
I love the complex flavor in red beets but usually choose to cook golden beets since you do not have to deal with a mess of red juice. Since I cook all of the time I am always trying to find ways to cook without making a huge mess.
There is a milder and less sweet flavor to golden beets that lends well to the technique of roasting to concentrate flavors that is appealing to many people who have in the past felt they did not like beets.
Don’t forget to save the beet tops or greens for a lovely saute with another dish or just toss them sauteed with the roasted beets. I actually grow beets for the greens and not as much for the sweet bulb it produces. When you harvest the greens periodically the bulb does not have enough energy to grow large. I usually split my harvest up into beets for greens or beets for bulbs.
I try to stay away from super sweet veggies and grow both but usually harvest the majority as of my crop as greens. When I do cook the bulb I will usually roast beets for the best flavor.
What is your favorite beet recipe?
- 1½ pounds golden or red beets, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces or wedges
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tables spoons fresh sage chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Optional finish with a squeeze of fresh organic lemon juice to cut the richness of the dish.
- Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
- Combine oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add beets; toss to coat with the seasoning mixture.
- Spread the beets evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast, stirring once or twice, until the beets are tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add fresh sage just before serving. Toss the roasted vegetables with lemon juice, if using.