The only beets I’d had in the past were those gelatinous, perfectly round wobbly red discs that come out of a can. I was little and had to try a bite during Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents’ before I could eat my cookie salad. I can’t imagine that went over very well.
But beets are in season and plentiful at the farmer’s market, and I am not one to pass up a nutritious, cheap vegetable. Besides, I have very little adventure in my life, and I figured trying beets would shake up my routine. [man, I am LAME.]
I got home and gave the beets a rinse and started my quest for an easy, safe recipe that would introduce me to the basic essence of beets. I checked out Kate’s and Elise’s sites, and was really surprised to find out that Deb doesn’t like beets. The same lady who has a scarily-long yet impressive list of vegetable recipes?! I was starting to get scared off by beets.
In the end, I decided to simply roast them with some oil and kosher salt. 99% of the directions I found for roasting beets tells you to roast them whole, then peel them afterward, and in the process, stain your fingers dark pink. But a few random places suggested peeling the beets with a potato peeler, quartering them, wrapping them cozily in little foil packets with a teensy bit of oil, and roasting for 20-30 minutes, as opposed to 30-45 minutes for whole beets. Less stainage and less roasting time? Sounds like a winner.
And like a good girl, I washed and saved my beet greens instead of adding them to the compost pile– they will be a great addition to my green monsters this week. :)
The verdict: surprisingly good! They smell like a combination of roasted broccoli, corn, and carrots, and taste like it too… except with an almost potato-like consistency. Oh, and they look like they’re bleeding, which is slightly creepy. However, at $1 for a large bunch of beets, easy prep and cooking, and a handful of recipes I want to try, I will definitely be stocking up on these in the coming months.