Cooking Fresh Beets

Cheryl Cirelli
Fresh beets

Beets can be used in a variety of recipes or enjoyed alone. They make a wonderful addition to a summer salad and are an ideal side dish, as well. Use one of the following simple methods for cooking beets fresh from the garden.

Basic Ways to Cook Beets

Cooking beets is simple. Beets can be roasted to give them a sweet flavor, steamed to preserve color, or boiled in a flash.

Before cooking the beets, you must make sure that they are washed carefully to remove all dirt. For best results, use a soft brush. Take care not to scrape or break the skin, since you will want them to remain intact to keep in the juices.

Oven Roasted Beets

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh whole beets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and scrub beets to clean off any dirt.
  3. Leave beets whole unless you have some of an extra large size. Cut especially large ones in half so all the beets are approximately the same size.
  4. Trim off stems and ends of all beets.
  5. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering with aluminum foil and spraying with a nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Place beets in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  7. Toss the beets lightly with olive oil, making sure to coat all sides.
  8. Cover the beets with another sheet of foil and seal the sides to the baking sheet.
  9. Place in oven and roast for approximately one to two hours. Check beets for tenderness by piercing with a sharp knife.
  10. Once done, remove from oven and carefully remove the top layer of foil.
  11. Allow the beets to cool and then peel the skin off of the beets.

Boiled Beets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds fresh beets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups water, additional water as needed

Instructions

  1. Place the beets in a large saucepan and add water and lemon juice. Use enough water to cover all beets.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for one hour or until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and rinse beets under cool water.
  4. Once cool, remove the skin from the beets.
Fresh beet

Steamed Microwaved Beets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 to 5 fresh beets
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. If using large beets, cut into quarters. If using small or medium beets, leave whole.
  2. Place beets in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Add one inch of water to the bowl and then cover the bowl with a damp paper towel.
  4. Microwave on high for seven minutes. Rotate bowl halfway through cooking.
  5. Remove from microwave and allow to cool for five minutes.
  6. Once cool, peel the skin from the beets.

Simple Serving Suggestions

Beets can be eaten on their own with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. They pair well with goat cheese and are a perfect side to pork dishes. Beets can add a pop of color to an otherwise bland salad and are not only colorful, but healthy to eat as well. Try adding beets to your pickled eggs or serve with cabbage or Brussels sprouts for a tasty twist.

Cooking Fresh Beets