Baked Beets With Herbs & Butter ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baked Beets With Herbs & Butter

We got the most lovely bunch of purple beets at our last CSA pick up. I used a few by grating them raw into salads (yum!), then proceeded to ignore them in order to focus on some of the more time-sensitive veggies that needed to be dealt with quickly. Luckily, beets keep for quite a while in the fridge if you remove the greens and this batch seemed perfectly content to cool their heels in the crisper for nearly two weeks while I dealt with more pressing culinary concerns.

Washing beets by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

I typically roast beets - they're DELICIOUS that way - but I was not feeling excited about waiting quite that long for them to cook so I decided to try baking them, instead - something I'd never tried before. With baked beets, the cooking time is sped up by putting a small amount of water in the bottom of the baking dish to steam the beets while they cook. Then you slip the skins off just as you would with roasted or boiled beets. It's a bloody-looking business but it washes right off.

Beet Blood on my Hands by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

I was also attracted to the simple idea of tossing the warm beets with butter, herbs, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. So I ran out to our little container garden and gathered up oregano, thyme and basil and chopped them up.

Our Thyme Plant by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

The results were both quicker and less messy than roasting and deliciously flavorful and light. The baked beets are a little bit softer than roasted and the fresh herbs complement their natural sweetness while the butter makes it feel just a wee bit decadent and the salt, pepper and lemon juice add a little brightness and jazz.

Baked beets with herbs and butter by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

I served them with a thick cucumber yogurt sauce spiked with fresh mint (have I mentioned how much I LOVE whole milk Greek yogurt for this purpose?), grilled lamb sausages from our favorite butcher shop, and my own interpretation of one of those Near East boxed couscous mixes. I use this very tasty, fine whole wheat French couscous that we get in bulk at our local health food store, some sauteed red onion, a whole lotta chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper -- it's much better than the box.

Raitia/Tzatziki - cucumber, yogurt, onion & mint sauce

The beets were at least as tasty the next day as leftovers, too. I will definitely be making these again.

Baked beets with herbs and butter by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Baked Beets With Herbs & Butter
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

* 1 large bunch of beets (any kind), washed with tops and tails removed
* 2 Tbsps butter (you could substitute olive or walnut oil if you do not eat dairy)
* Sea salt to taste
* Freshly ground pepper to taste
* Big handful of fresh herbs (thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, etc.,), washed, dried and chopped
* 1-2 tsps fresh lemon juice or mild vinegar like champagne or white balsamic

Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 350. Place the beets in a shallow baking dish and add half a cup of water to the bottom. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven.

2. Bake for 30-45 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the beets you're using), until beets are soft when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven and let sit, uncovered until cool enough to handle. Slip the skins off and remove any roots or tough pieces left over from the tops with a knife, then slice to whatever thickness and shape you desire.

3. Toss with the herbs, butter, salt and pepper then sprinkle a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or vinegar of your choice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve warm or room temperature.

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6 comments:

motherrimmy said...

We are new converts to the pleasures of eating beets in this house. I love them roasted too, but this method looks totally delicious!

Catherine said...

Oh, I'll be trying that one! We got baby beets at the market yesterday...

Eileen said...

Hooray for beets! Such an underrated vegetable. These sound super easy and flavorful!

Andrea Mynard said...

Really like the look of all your recipes for beets, baked beets feels just right for this time of year too. Will definitely be trying this one with the beetroot in the garden. Hungry thinking about it.

Jayne said...

I love beets and also usually roast mine, this sounds like another great way to prepare them! I must admit I wear rubber gloves preparing mine though! Gorgeous picures.

Small Kitchen Appliances said...

Healthy recipe.Thank you for sharing.