The most valuable knowledge a child can have is that when plugging your nose you loose all sense of taste. This is especially helpful not only when taking cough syrup and antibiotics that claim they taste like bubblegum (I lie to kids daily and feel terrible about it), but also when you have parents who enjoy eating beets. We had many showdowns at the dinnertable that involved a bowl of beets, 3 children, and 2 some what annoyed parents. We tried everything to get out of eating them; arguing, claiming an allergy, feeding to the dog, etc… None of which worked. So we plugged our noses and quickly swallowed the beets, often times not chewing. Oh they were terrible. I have to say mom didn’t serve them often – thank goodness! As I’ve matured (kinda) my palate has as well, however beets are still questionable. I can eat them diced and in a greek salad, the flavor of them is wonderful for pickled eggs, but I can still not eat them plan and straight out of the can.
The can! I’ve identified the problem. What vegetables are really good out of the can? While the canning process is indeed very valuable, especially in the winter, it does no favor to the taste or texture of any vegetable. So, I marched (drove) myself to the grocery and bought me some beets. These things in the raw are hard, ugly, dirty, and once peeled they stain everything they touch… whoever thought to eat these things for the first time must have been crazy or starved.
So how does one cook these things? It being a root vegetable that is packed with sugar, what better way to prepare them but to roast them? Plus, I am in a roasting state of mind and most vegetables are best when roasted especially root vegetables. So that is what did, I roasted them and wowza were they good! They did not taste or even resemble their canned counterparts. I topped warm beets with a bit of crumbled feta cheese. What a great combo!
My goal with these is to win over my brothers who were scarred as children and probably haven’t eaten a beet since their childhood. We will see – I’ll keep you updated!
(I only used 4 small to medium beets (see pic) since I was only eating them, if feeding several I would use 3 to 4 sm/med beets per person, alter other ingredients only sightly for additional beets-use your best judgement)
- 1 bundle of small to medium beets (mine contained 4)
- 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil … enough to coat, (see note above)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Crumbled feta cheese (optional) … I used maybe a tablespoon.
- Preheat oven t0 425
- Cut the leafy tops and rooty bottom off the bulb and peel off the outer skin. The fleshy innards will stain anything they touch, so be careful!
- Dice the beets into about ½ inch cubes or thereabouts – no need to be exact
- Toss chunks with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour out onto a baking sheet
- Roast in oven for about 30 minutes until tender. Turn vegetables over very 10 minutes or halfway through, ensuring even roasting (every side gets nice and caramelized).
- Remove from oven and transfer to serving dish and top with crumbled feta.
- Grab a fork and enjoy!
If you are able to find other varieties of beets, for example Chiogga (candy cane) or golden beets this recipe would work for those as well. Plus if using baby beets they are sweeter and have a milder flavor than larger beets. Again, possibilities are endless.