I love the earthy flavor of roasted beets. They are so simple and good as is either hot from the oven, at room temperature or even eaten directly out of the refrigerator. Working with fresh beets can be a messy endeavor. In my opinion, the easiest way to roast them is to peel and cut them up while raw then roast them in the oven. Alternatively, you can scrub them and roast them whole then peel and cut them up once you can comfortably touch them.
However, when I want to dress them up, all it takes is a little bit of citrus and fresh herbs. Orange in three forms–the fruit, juice, and the zest–add a brightness to the beets. Add in some fresh herbs and you have a side dish that is worthy of a dinner party. These beets are just as good hot as they are at room temperature. If you have limited oven space you can roast them ahead of time, up to three days before you plan on serving them, and store them covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. If you decide to go this route, let them return to room temperature then add the oranges and herbs before serving.
ROASTED BEETS w/ ORANGE & THYME
8-10 beets, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme
Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the beets on a ribbed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper.
- Place the beets in the oven and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 40-45 minutes.
- Move the beets to a serving bowl and add the orange juice, orange zest, and thyme. Toss well to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper if desired.
The beets can be served immediately or at room temperature.