If you learn my simple trick for how to roast beets, you'll never look at those funny root vegetables the same way again. Properly roasted beets are a far cry from those soggy tasteless pink slabs that come in a can. Roasted beets are sweet, rich, tender, and an incredible addition to salads - or great on their own!
- 3-4 large beets, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with a nonstick pad or tinfoil lightly coated in nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Peel the thin skin off of each beet, then use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and root ends. Slice the beet into about 1/2" slices.
- Transfer slices to a large mixing bowl and toss with oil, then salt.
- Spread the beet slices in an evenly-spaced layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until softened, then flip and cook another 15-30 minutes until tender.
- Store completely cooled beets in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
HOW TO MAKE ROAST BEETS – THE RIGHT WAY
- The secret to perfect roasted beets is this: 350°.
- Everyone who I mention this to looks at me funny. Doesn’t roasting mean 400° or higher? Possibly, depending on who you ask.
- Most people think of roasting and assume it must be done in a very hot oven, but it primarily means dry heat cooking of something that already has a shape – as opposed to baking in which the cooking process gives the food shape. Think roasting beets, or a whole chicken (solid –> solid) vs. baking a cake (liquid –> solid).
- In the case of beets, and other root veggies and high-starch produce like squash, a low-ish and slow cooking process effectively removes enough of the moisture to allow the flavors to deepen, the sugars to condense and caramelize, and the flesh to become tender. If the temperature were higher, the beets would burn before they reached peak shrivel-y sweet-and-tenderness.
- By the way, you can use this same method for roasted sweet potatoes.