So let’s talk about beets. Beautiful, juicy beets. That glorious vegetable that leaves your hands stained pink for a good 5 or 6 hours and turns your pee a suspiciously red color…. I think beets are one of the vegetables with the worst reputations, whether it’s due to the aforementioned side effects, or the oft perpetuated idea that they taste like dirt. So let me tell you now: don’t listen to what anyone tells you. Beets are absolutely delicious. They’re sweet, they have the loveliest texture, and they’re chock full of nutrients.
[Full disclosure: I used to be one of those people who turned their nose up at beets. My mom loved them but I wasn’t a huge fan growing up. I have been converted to beet lover. My older brother, not so much. In due time, though, in due time..]
The other funny thing about beets that I’ve found is that some people who know what fresh beets look like don’t know how on earth they are supposed to prepare them, and some people who are familiar with canned and prepackaged beets have no idea what beets look like when they come out of the ground. One of my flat mates from last year thought that they came out of the ground looking like these little perfectly round, skinless spheres. Bless her heart (I’m lookin’ at you Jezza 😉 )
So I’m here to provide a little Beet 101 for those of you in need. Get your pens and pencils out, and take notes folks, because this might be kind of hard to follow.
Lesson 1: This is what fresh, whole beets look like.
Lesson 2: This is the most basic (and delicious) way to prepare beets.
- 1-2 lbs of beets (or really however much you want), stalks and greens removed, and bulbs scrubbed clean of dirt
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Wrap the beets in tin foil, wrapping the larger ones individually and the smaller in groups of 2 or 3. Place the foil packets on a baking sheet, and roast until beets are soft and easily pierced with a knife (1 to 1½ hours)
- Remove from the oven, open the foil packets and let the beets cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel the skins off. You should be able to essentially rub the skin off by hand, but if you'd like you can peel it off with a paring knife.
- Slice and serve with olive oil, salt and pepper, or even better, with goat cheese!
Told you that you’d need to take notes! Complicated, huh? Join me again Friday for Lesson 3, titled: DON’T THROW AWAY THE GREENS. Just don’t. You’ll see why