Beet me up
July 6, 2015 1:38 PM   Subscribe

I bought beets at the farmers market this weekend but have never eaten them before. What is your go-to beet recipe / preparation technique for beet-o-phobes? The weather has cooled, so I can comfortably use my oven for roasting, too.
posted by Maarika to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I do not love beets but I have recently eaten some amazing salads with roasted beet and goat cheese as the primary ingredients, and dressed with a light vinaigrette.
posted by telepanda at 1:44 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, pickled beets are the literal best, but I have never self-pickled a beet so I have no idea how to tell you to do that. I bet the internet knows, though.

I will tell you though that roasted beets are extremely extremely good, at least for me, A Person Who Likes Beets. I cut them up into pieces just like a potato, coat them in some olive oil and salt, then set them to roast in a 400° oven (every so often poke em around with a spatula to get even heat distro) until they are forkable. Then I set the oven on broil for a few minutes to brown up the outsides. Super simple, super beety.

Goat cheese goes well with beets (tbh I've only ever had it with pickled beets though) like for on salads and things.
posted by phunniemee at 1:44 PM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Steam them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F. Trim the leaves and stems off, leaving about an inch of stem attached. Trim off the root. Rinse them enough to get the big chunks of dirt off. Do NOT peel them. Stick them a couple times with a fork. Put them in a baking dish with a lid. Pour about 1 cup of water into the dish (just water, nothing else, and don't be too fussy about measuring). Put the lid on. Make sure the lid seals tightly OR seal the lid with tin foil by putting it over the edge of the lid and smushing it up so it fills the gap between dish and lid. Put them in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (small ones, about 2-inches in diameter) to 60 minutes (bigger ones).

Poke them with a paring knife. If the knife goes in easily all the way to the center, they are done. Take them out and let them cool enough to handle, then pull the skins off. Serve however you like -- I like them sliced into fat chunks and slathered in salt and butter.
posted by OrangeDisk at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I do one of two things with beets - pickled and roasted. I used the pickled beet recipe in the Ball Blue Book. This is basically it from their website. For roasting, I peel them and cut them up in ~1/2 in cubes, do the same with roughly equal amounts of Yukon Gold potatoes, maybe a parsnip and/or carrot, maybe 1/2 an onion diced, toss all of that with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake them - maybe 375F for 30 minutes or so. (Sorry it's not more precise. I don't have a specific recipe and just kind of wing it. Maybe check to see how done they are getting after 25 minutes.)
posted by Beti at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Roasting definitely. I like to add some balsamic while it roasts so the vinegar can caramelize a little and bring out the sweetness.
posted by General Malaise at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Roast them in the oven with a little salt and olive oil. When they come out, toss them with some goat cheese and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar (heat in a pot/pan until it becomes thick and syrupy). Yum!!

Super easy and super yum!!
posted by archimago at 1:47 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

You say you've never eaten beets before? Do not be alarmed at tomorrow morning's bathroom visit; you very likely are not hemorrhaging.
posted by pupsocket at 1:49 PM on July 6, 2015 [24 favorites]

Be aggressive when you roast them too. If you're patient you will be rewarded with something that is very candy like. Watch out for stains.
posted by ftm at 1:49 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

1) Beets and goat cheese are a match made in heaven. This works with roasted beet cubes or sliced boiled beets (you can boil them in their skins, which peel easily after cooking). On preview, this seems to be a popular answer!

2) Beets can be eaten raw, and work well grated into a salad. The flavor is naturally sweet.

3) Beets can be glazed: peel them, cut into cubes, place in a saucepan, and just barely cover with watered-down orange juice (I'd say 1 part OJ to 2 parts water). Add some salt and boil on high heat, no lid; the liquid will foam up and then thicken, coating the beets. This technique takes 20 to 30 minutes for me.

4) If you have the greens, those are good too! Wash them well (submerge them in water and scrub a bit), and saute them with onions, garlic, and other greens.

5) My favorite beet recipe is the Russian salad shuba, but it isn't for beet-o-phobes. I mention it in case you try some of the suggestions in this thread and decide that you love beets. (Must love herring, too.)
posted by aws17576 at 1:52 PM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

I meant to add to #3 above: glazing is also a great thing to do if you get a batch of beets that are low in flavor. It happens, even at farmers' markets.
posted by aws17576 at 1:53 PM on July 6, 2015

Eat them raw and shredded like you would carrots. They're so deliciously juicy that you may not need a dressing on a salad if you include them!
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:53 PM on July 6, 2015

Rinse thoroughly all parts to be eaten.

If they are not relatively the same size, halve or quarter the large ones. Cut the greens and stems close; you may saute these with onion, garlic and oil if you like bitter greens. I find they go well with pasta.

The root itself, cover in water in a saucepan and boil until a fork may be stuck into the center and removed easily. Allow to cool, or rinse in cold water, and peel the rough surface.

Dice or chop, and serve in a salad with goat cheese and a bright lemon or vinegar dressing.

Or slice thickly, and serve with a pinch of salt as a side dish.

In lieu of boiling, you may roast. The preparation is nearly the same except you will instead of covering in water a saucepan you will chop smaller, toss in oil and lay in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with foil or an oven-safe lid, and roast, again, until a fork may be stuck through. These, too, may be added to a salad or served as a side.
posted by gauche at 1:54 PM on July 6, 2015

Roasting with some balsamic. I'll often toss them with other veg as I like the earthy flavour they impart.

Also grated raw beets on salads.

Beet chips are amazing. and reduce a bit of the earthy flavour some people don't like so much about beets.
posted by wwax at 1:56 PM on July 6, 2015

Another vote for cold beet/goat cheese salads, and for roasting.

Although sea salt and olive oil are delicious, I've also had some good times with coconut oil and fish sauce. You can add stuff like ginger, lemongrass, garlic and scallions if you have 'em lying around.
posted by box at 1:57 PM on July 6, 2015

I slice them razor thin with a mandoline and dip them in some olive oil and eat them raw. If you take two and place feta or another similar cheese in between, they're like ravioli.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:58 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Boil the beets, then blend with some pistachios and lemon juice until you get a puree. Chill and serve with a good steak.
posted by dilaudid at 1:58 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Garlicky Beet Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts. I love this recipe -- it is my favorite way to eat beets. The garlic flavor is really prominent, but you can alter the ratios between garlic, yogurt, and walnut to get the exact flavor you want.

The best thing is, what with the grated beets, it totally looks like something Klingons would eat.
posted by meese at 2:09 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

A dash of cinnamon while roasting beets is lovely.

So is a raw salad of beet and persimmon (the hard kind, I can never remember which is Fuyu and which is Hachiya).

Roasted beets + goat cheese + pecans + thinly shaved red onion + orange segments + vinaigrette

Easy pickle: Quarter (or smaller) your beets and roast, or boil whole and slice. Bring vinegar + 2tbsp sugar per litre to a boil, pour over beets in a heatproof bowl, refrigerate. Optionally add mustard seeds.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:30 PM on July 6, 2015

Chlodnik. Never had it, but I saw on on a gardening show, and it looked yummy.
posted by feste at 2:48 PM on July 6, 2015

Skin one large beet (or two smaller ones) and grate it into a bowl. Mix in the juice of about half a lemon (or more, depending on how much you like lemon. Taste it at the end), and salt and pepper to taste. Will last a few days in the fridge.

Salad suggestion:
-rocket or baby spinach
-roasted sweet potato (cut into chunks and dressed in oil, salt and pepper before roasting. Macadamia oil is amazing for this)
-steak cooked however you like and cut into strips.
-simple balsamic-based dressing
-some of your grated beetroot
posted by kinddieserzeit at 3:13 PM on July 6, 2015


1. Boil or roast beets until soft, remove skins.
2. Slice into chunks.
3. Mix equal parts water, malt vinegar, sugar.
4. Place chunks in liquid, done.

They start to taste good within 12 hours, will keep in fridge for at least a week.
posted by Cosine at 3:21 PM on July 6, 2015

Shredded and boiled/steamed in a small amount of orange juice and a little salt, until just crispy, and then balsamic vinegar at the end.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:24 PM on July 6, 2015

Grill until fork can pierce, peel, slice, eat.

Or make boscht!
posted by slateyness at 4:48 PM on July 6, 2015

Peel 'em, wrap 'em in tinfoil and roast 'em in a 350 degree oven until they're soft-ish. Then slice and use as a pizza topping. My favorite is to combine with bleu cheese, caramelized onions, and arugula.
posted by dr. boludo at 6:22 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

My 5-year-old's favorite method is to boil them until tender, then blend with milk/butter/cream and stir into mashed potatoes. The flavor is subtle but the color is alarmingly fluorescent. We call these "crazy evil princess potatoes."
posted by dr. boludo at 6:25 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like this simple salad:

Grate a couple (raw) beets
Grate a couple apples (granny smith are my faves for this -- tart and lovely)
Toss together with a lemony vinaigrette.

Easy peasy, crunchy and very pink!
posted by fancyoats at 7:00 PM on July 6, 2015

I make a salad similar to the ones others have mentioned - roasted beetroot, chickpeas, haloumi cheese, sometimes grated carrot, sometimes orange segments, ideally some fresh parsley. My partner says that it's a great combo with grilled salmon.
posted by Cheese Monster at 11:08 PM on July 6, 2015

I love roasted beets, but they take so long that I usually steam them first, and then finish them in the oven with olive oil and coarse salt. They're particularly good mixed with roasted carrots, seasoned with rosemary and orange.
posted by tangerine at 11:25 PM on July 6, 2015

This salad with roasted beets, goat cheese, avocado, and arugula is delicious.
Also, here's more info about the side effects of eating beets.
posted by neushoorn at 1:49 AM on July 7, 2015

To be honest I usually just roast them and then devour them like a ravenous beast without further modification, but I will also support roasted beets + goat cheese + arugula as an excellent salad.
posted by pemberkins at 4:20 AM on July 7, 2015

Gingered Beets served with latkes and sour cream are divine.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:46 AM on July 7, 2015

I am going to try this soon : beets as a spicy tuna sashimi replacement
posted by lalochezia at 7:18 AM on July 7, 2015

Salt roasted beets are luscious enough that a famous vegan restaurant uses them as an analogue for lox.
posted by joyceanmachine at 10:26 AM on July 7, 2015

Use the beet greens instead of chard if you have them, and feel free to omit the hazelnuts.
posted by hrj at 11:25 AM on July 7, 2015

I like beets best with a little more salt than you think is right- it makes the sweetness really nice. Peel, cube, toss with quite a bit of olive oil and salt, then roast in oven exactly as you'd roast a tray of similarly sized potato chunks, til the edges are dark and kind of chewy.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 4:11 PM on July 7, 2015

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