The onset of fall always makes me crave root vegetables — carrots, rutabagas, turnips, celery roots, potatoes, etc. But my favorite edible roots are yummy, delicious, earthy, sweet beets. Today I was thinking of baby beets — roasting them and lightly pickling them. I’ll snack on a couple with dinner just plain and the rest I have planned for a salad with lunch tomorrow. Some greens with a simple vinaigrette, some shaved pecorino, a few toasted pecans & baby beets!!
Roasting beets is simple. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Now, wash your beets very well, being sure to remove any loose dirt. Next, trim off the tops, cut off any of the fibrous root, and wrap each beet in a piece of aluminum foil. Place in a shallow pan.
When the oven is up to temperature pop the beets in! Roast for one hour and ten minutes. While roasting you can make the following light pickling solution. This step isn’t really necessary, and in fact, the beets are great right out of the oven, peeled, tossed in butter while hot and sprinkled with sea salt and cracked pepper. But I find, especially for a salad, a light vinegary pickling solution is perfect — the acid will temper some of the earthy “dirtiness” that some don’t like about beets, and the sugar will complement their natural sweetness.
Light Pickle: 1 cup of water, 1 cup white or cider vinegar, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Combine ingredients and bring to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.
When beets are cool enough to handle remove from foil and peel by gently rubbing skins off. The skin should slide right off. Use a paper towel and be careful not to stain your clothes. You may wish to use rubber gloves as the ruby beets will stain your skin as well. Once peeled you can cut beets as you like. Today I quartered them.
Since I used two kinds of beets, I placed the yellow and ruby beets in separate bowls so the yellow beets wouldn’t take on the hue of the red ones. I poured half of the pickling solution in each bowl of beet quarters. I’ll soak them for about an hour or until they come to room temperature. Drain before using in a salad or otherwise.
Hope you like them. I sure do. Talk to you later! I’ve got some eatin’ to do.