Beets are so delicious, so good for you and are a fabulously versatile food. But many of us steer clear of cooking fresh beets because of the perceived work involved; red hands, how to peel them, red hands, and “what the heck do I do with the beet greens?” and yes, red hands. If you haven’t tried roasted beets then you simply must. Because once you do, you’ll be looking for all kinds of ways to enjoy these beauties. So full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, did you know that beets are in the same family as spinach and quinoa? So, how about trying this easy Roasted Beets method and while I’m working on some other recipes for you that incorporate beets and beet greens, why not make a tart and sweet pink grapefruit glaze to drizzle over the beautiful roasted beets?
Beets that come in different varieties are irresistible. I found these beauties at my local Whole Foods Market the other day and had to get some. Red Beets, Golden Beets and Chioggia (or striped) Beets. For this recipe, either buy the beets without the greens, if available, or cut down to 1-inch from the beet before roasting. Wash any loose dirt off and let dry. Cook’s note: the Chioggia Beets are so beautiful when they’re raw, but the color basically washes out upon roasting.
Preheat your oven to 425F degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, place the beets on aluminum foil and bundle the foil closed. Depending on how many beets you’re roasting (pictured is 3 pounds total), use one or two bundles. Place the sheet on the middle oven rack and cook for approximately one hour or until the beets are tender enough to be pierced with a fork.
Remove the tray from the oven, open the foil packets, and let the beets cool on the tray until they’re cold enough to handle.
Then simply cut the top and bottom of the beets and rub or pare off the skins. Earlier when you left 1-inch of the beet green stems on, that helped to keep the red color inside the beet. Now, you have beautiful, buttery-soft beets, ready to slice and eat, or add to a salad or even a meat or chicken dish. Such a great spark of color to any meal.
Try this light pink grapefruit glaze for something new. Both tart and sweet, made with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, rice vinegar, pure maple syrup (or honey) and a bit of cornstarch, this recipe can be served hot or chilled.
Reminiscent of pickled beets, the glaze is both tart and sweet, but light and not overpowering. Serve right away with the glaze still hot, like my husband preferred, or chill for at least one hour, the way I liked them.
Roasted Beets - and tart pink grapefruit glaze
- 3 pounds beets
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, about 2 large grapefruits
- 1 Tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup or honey
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 425F degrees.
- Trim the greens from the beets, leaving about 1-inch of the stems. Wash and drain beets in a colander. Wrap beets in aluminum foil "bundles" and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook in oven for about one hour or until the beets are tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Remove the tray from the oven, open the foil packets and let the beets cool on the tray until cold enough to handle. Cut off the top and bottom of beet and rub or pare off the skins. Cut the beets in slices.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapefruit juice, vinegar, and maple syrup or honey.
- Place the cornstarch in a small saucepan and whisk in the grapefruit mixture until all the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Heat the pan on medium heat until just boiling, whisking frequently. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for about 5-8 minutes, or until the glaze is thickened and glossy. Remove from the heat.
- Drizzle the hot glaze over beets right away if you want to serve as a hot dish. If you are serving cold, drizzle the glaze on the beets and then refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours ahead of serving.
Recipe adapted from The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without.