Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Baked Beets

Baked Beets!

I've never been a huge fan of beets, probably because I was fed the terrible kinds, such as canned beets.  After dining at L'Arpège in Paris and ad hoc a handful of times this spring, I grew to really like beets.  They're sweet, juicy, bursting in flavor and so in season now!  So the next step of course is to cook them.  Baking them is my favorite style to eat them.  I've been getting them every week at the farmer's market!  SO GOOD!!

This recipe was inspired by Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home, and modified to my likings.  Serve them as part of salad, or as a side dish with duck or beef.  So good and so easy to make.  Pretty much just pop them in the oven and you're done!

Tools:

Ingredients:
  • 12 Beets with stems, each the size of a golfball, all of one type, or an assortment: Chioggia, golden, red, etc.
  • 3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Olive Oil (or 1 Tbsp for every 4 beets)
  • Kosher Salt and freshly Ground Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp, unsalted Butter (or 1 Tbsp for every 4 beets)
  • 1 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar 

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Trim the stems of the beets to about 1/2 inch and scrub the beets well.
  2. Put each type of beet in a separate bowl, toss with 1 Tbsp of the oil (or ~1 Tbsp for every 4 beets), and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    2. In this case, all my beets were the same so they all went in 1 bowl.  
  3. Put 3 pieces of aluminum foil large enough to enclose 4 of the beets on a work surface.  Put 1 Tbsp of Butter in the center of each piece.
  4. Top each piece of foil with one of the types of beets and any oil remaining in the bowl.  Fold over the sides and crimp them to create a packet.
    3. Before wrapping.
  5. Put the beet-foil packets on a baking sheet and bake until the beets are tender, approximately 50 minutes, or until there is no resistance when the beets are pierced with a sharp paring knife.
  6. Carefully open the packets and let the beets cool, still in the packets, until they can be handled.
    4. My current favorite bacon, from "Full of Life" Farm (LOL).  Seriously, it just melts in your mouth.  You can get it at the Mountain View Farmer's market.
  7. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, cut of the stem of each beet (reserve any juices in the foil packets) and wipe off the skin with a paper towel.  Use the paper towel to lightly rub the beet from the cut end toward the root.  The skin will come right off!
    5. A paper towel is great for removing the skin off a beet.
  8. Cut the beets into 1/2 inch wide wedges.  Put each type of beet in a separate bowl and pour any cooking liquid from the packet over them.
    6. Peeled beets, ready to be cut
  9. This step is optional.  The beets can be eaten as is at this point.  I like mine with just a touch of red wine vinegar and olive oil.  For this, add the 1 Tsp of Olive Oil (or 1/N Tsp for each type of beet, where N is number of types of beets) and 1 Tsp of Red Wine Vinegar (or 1/N Tsp for each type of beet).  Toss to coat evenly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.   I bet this would also taste pretty good with a splash of maple syrup!
    7. Mmmm ready to eat!
Baked beets are probably my current favorite side dish.  I've been eating these every week and serving them to friends when they come over, haha.  Check out my Roasted Beets & Maché Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Avocado, next week!

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