Beets are up there in my all-time favorite foods so it boggles my mind that so many people are afraid of them! Had too many of the canned, pickled varieties on mediocre salad bars? Trust me, you will be surprised – scratch that- happily shocked, when you try your first roasted, fresh beet! If you’re feeling brave enough, read on… I have converted many’a beet-hater.
I decided to test my theory on a bunch of beetbie’s (beet newbies) so I roasted up a big batch for a cookout with my family and added fresh orange juice, maple syrup, pistachio’s, and cracked salt. I was met with some scared faces, some I’m-trying-to-be-polite-but-I’ll-just-have-some-potatoes-please-faces, and one very excited face! The excited face was my moms, who for years has raved and reminisced about my late, great-aunt’s canned beets. Boy what I would do to surprise everyone with pretty jars of Aunt Ruthie’s beets. Unfortunately, she didn’t leave the recipe behind and I was young when she passed away and since pickled beets are repulsive to an 8 year old I can’t even tell you what they were like.
“Be brave,” I told the scaredies that day! And in grandma fashion, I just dished some onto their plates anyways. I can tell you with all certainty that I changed their lives that day. They all loved them! One of them said they were like sweet potatoes but with a unique texture. And my little brother Lincoln had two servings, even after he initially declared that beets “weren’t his thing.” I’m pretty sure I forced one into his mouth. Sisters can do that. Don’t try that on your guests.
One of the best things about beets is that they’re pretty hard to overcook. You could roast them for 45 minutes to 29 hours and they most likely would retain that lovely bite. They are also incredibly easy to work with if you know the secret! Roast your beets in a foil packet and then immediately run them under cold water while rubbing the peels off. It’s an amazing trick! For years I’ve heard that it was possible to disrobe beets easily but I never had any luck with it until I started running them under cold water.
The other trick for working with beets is remembering to layer them on the plate first then add your other ingredients on top. That’s because beets have a dark red color that will very easily stain other foods. So for the prettiest presentation, layer!
- 4 medium-large Red or Yellow Beets
- 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 ripe Avocado
- 2 Oranges
- 1 Tablespoon Shelled Pistachios
- 1 teaspoon minced Tarragon or other herb of choice
- Flaked Sea Salt
- High quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 450F degrees.
- Wash beets and remove the greens (but save them for another recipe). Pat dry and place beets on a sheet of foil, rub with vegetable oil. Tightly close the foil packets and roast on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork easily slides into them.
- Immediately run beets one by one under cool water while rubbing the peels off. The water will make them feel cool enough to handle but be careful as they are still very hot. Set them aside to cool.
- Cut avocado, orange, and beets into small slices or large rounds, depending on your plating design.
- Layer beets on plate first to keep them from staining the other ingredients. Layer avocado and orange on top, then sprinkle with pistachio, tarragon, sea salt, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil.
- Serve immediately at room temperature. If preparing in advance, keep ingredients stored separately until right before serving.