Beets are such a versatile vegetable. One of my favorite ways to cook them is to roast them (or, similarly, to cook them on the grill). Roasting them enhances their sweetness, and is really a no-fuss way of cooking them. This is really simple and SO tasty! This was a great side dish to the Tarragon Chicken we had, but also goes well with almost any main course.
Here’s what we do (this is more of a technique than a recipe – so adjust the amounts as needed):
whole beets – about 2 medium per person (any variety – red, orange, candycane, etc.) – peeled or unpeeled
spray olive oil (I use my misto filled with olive oil)
salt & pepper to taste
fresh or dried thyme (optional), about 1/2 tsp per person
Heat oven to 450. Scrub beets with a vegetable brush, and place into a glass casserole dish (a Pyrex 9×9 or 13×9 dish works well) or place on a sheet of heavy-duty foil. If beets are more than 3 inches in diameter, slice in half. Spray with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and thyme (if using).
For a glass dish, cover dish tightly with foil, and place pan into preheated oven. For a foil packet, crimp foil to seal, and place on a cookie sheet (in case there are drips) into the preheated oven.
Roast beets for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender (pierce with a knife to test doneness). Allow beets to cool slightly, then peel (if you left the peels on before cooking). If using red beets, wear disposable gloves when peeling to avoid staining your hands.
**Alternative directions – grilling** Preheat grill, prep beets as described above, but put onto heavy-duty foil (instead of a Pyrex dish), then wrap up the foil packet. Place on grill over indirect heat for about 45 minutes (or until you can smell them).
Serve warm, or cool, slice, and serve cold or at room temperature (or on top of a mixed green salad).