For me, the only way I remember eating beets as a kid was pickled. And I love them like that (the Dutchie coming out in me).
I do believe, though, that roasting them best brings out the great flavor and sweetness that beets are known for. Roast them, skin them, chop them up and serve them with some good extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper--and you've got yourself a tasty side dish.
Citrus pairs really well with beets, and the recipe below--another one that I made at Blooming Glen Farm last week--is a great summer side dish. You may even convert some beet-haters with this one!
ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH BLOOD ORANGES AND ALMONDS (from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
At the farm, I used regular navel oranges (since blood oranges aren't in season) and instead of arugula (again, out of season), I used red leaf lettuce and dandelion greens. To prepare the oranges, cut the top and bottom off of the orange. Using a sharp knife, slice away the peel to reveal the pulp. Cut into quarters and then slice each quarter into 1/2" pieces. For best flavor, follow the recipe and toss the warm beets in the dressing. But you can roast the beets ahead of time and it will still be tasty.
2 lb beets, greens removed
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 oz arugula (about 2 cups)
1 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
2 blood oranges (see above)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Wrap beets in foil individually and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until a skewer or paring knife meets little resistance, 45-60 minutes.
- Remove beets from oven and open foil. When cool enough to handle, rub off skins using a paper towel. Slice into 1/2" thick wedges and, if large, cut in half.
- Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl. Add sliced beets, toss to coat, let cool to room temp, about 20 min.
- Add arugula to beets and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese and almonds.