Thursday, October 16, 2008

Roasted Beets

My girls and I really adore these, not so popular with the males in our family, though. If you are selective about your beets, you can get two veggies out of one bunch of beets! I love beet greens so when I am sorting through bunches of beets i the grocery store, I look for big, green leaves as well as bulbs that are 3 inches or less in diameter (1.5-2 inches is my preference). At one of our local organic markets they separate the bulb from the greens and this is especially nice for sorting through and finding the smaller beets.

If greens aren't separated, snip with a pair of kitchen shears about one inch above the bulbs. Wash but don't feel a need to scrub the outside as you will peel it off once cooked. Place beets on a piece of tin foil, large enough to completely wrap around the beets and make a foil packet. If your beets are large (3 inches or more), cut into smaller pieces for faster cooking. Dice 1-2 shallots and strip 2-3 stems of thyme, add both to beets. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt is not necessary as beets are naturally high in sodium. Wrap in foil making a pouch. Place on pan and roast in 400 degree oven for 40 or so minutes (time will vary greatly based on size of beets). You can check for doneness by inserting a fork into the center of the bulb, when beet is soft all the way through, it's done.

Remove from foil and allow to cool a bit. You can use a knife to rake the outer skin off or you can rub them off by hand, but beware that the beets will stain clothes and skin. I use kitchen grade gloves and a knife to cut the top and bottom off and then run skin off from there.

My father-in-law likes his beets with vinegar on them, I prefer them plan or you can even put a small pat of butter on them. The greens can be prepared in the same manor as sauteed spinach.

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