Kitchen Basics: How To Cook Beets

By March 12, 2014Kitchen Basics

I haven’t always loved beets. They’ve been one of those foods that I’ve had to grow to even like. But, now that I know how to prepare them, I enjoy eating them, and even crave them.

Right now I’m craving a Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad that I’m planning to make later today.

Are you craving beets?

If you are, my first suggestion for when you finish reading this post is to go and make this Mache and Citrus Salad or Roasted Beet Salad. I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did.

Since you’ve probably made extra beet chips for the salad (to eat right off the pan, right? Just me? Ok.), I would suggest saving them to make a simple and delicious pasta.

Then, if you have any beets left, I’d make some borscht.

And you thought you didn’t like beets. Wait, that was me.

Wrong.

Beets are awesome.

“Everybody loves beets.” – Dwight K. Schrute

Beets can be cooked in so many different ways. Like most vegetables, I prefer them roasted and a bit crispy. They’re also delicious roasted whole, so they get soft and tender, or in small, bite-sized pieces, to be dunked in a creamy sauce.

When roasting beets, I might peel them first, so they can be chopped small, or made into chips. I wouldn’t recommend trying to peel these after roasting. However, if you’re roasting whole or halved, you can let them cool a bit, then peel. The skin should come off suuuuper easily.

Same goes for steaming or boiling.

Hey, if you’re going to boil, after you’ve removed the beets, what if you added some white vinegar to the water and saved it to dye Easter eggs!?

Or, throw in the beet peels and whatever other veggie scraps you have on hand and you’ve got homemade vegetable stock in about an hour.

However you cook them, beets are a simple root, and can be dressed up to suit the occasion. They’re super dense, so they will take a while to soften. Do not be dismayed, they will eventually cook.

Roasted Whole/Halved/Quartered

  1. Scrub well. Halve, quarter, or place whole on a baking sheet. Pierce a few times with a fork. Roast at 350F for about 60-90 minutes (or until the beet is easily pierced by a fork, but isn’t mushy).
  2. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Remove skin.

Beet Chips

  1. Scrub and peel beets. Thinly slice.
  2. Toss beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 10-20 minutes, or until beets are slightly crispy and tender.
  3. Remove from oven and cool.

Steamed

  1. Scrub well. Quarter and place in a steamer basket in a pot with boiling water. Steam for about 20-25 minutes, or until the beet is easily pierced by a fork, but isn’t mushy.
  2. Remove from steamer and let cool.
  3. Remove skin.

Boiled

  1. Scrub well.
  2. Quarter and place in a pot of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and boil for about 20-25 minutes, or until the beet is easily pierced by a fork, but isn’t mushy.
  3. Remove from water and let cool.
  4. Remove skin.

Handling beets makes for red fingers. Beware. 😉

Happy Beeting!

Author Rachel Oberg

More posts by Rachel Oberg

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