Let’s say I have a recipe like this but I have a bunch of fresh BEETS instead of canned BEETS.

What’s the proper procedure for replacing the canned with fresh?

Some of the comments at the bottom of the recipe page say that I should just roast them, but I’ve never cooked BEETS before so I’m looking for a little more to go on.

Do you peel the BEETS before or after cooking? Do you just scrub them?

Do you roast and then slice to get them in the form that they’re in in the can? Or maybe slice and then roast?

Any other favorite recipes for BEETS? I had some at a party this weekend and she said she just tossed them with some viniagrette and then tossed with goat cheese at the end. Delish.


Beetroot should be washed and boiled with the skins, roots and about an inch or two of leaf stems still on, or all the colour will wash out (lots of it will anyway, so don’t worry about the colour of the water). Unless they’re ‘baby beets’, they will need to be brought to the boil and simmered for about an hour, drained, immersed in cold water and topped/tailed/peeled when cool enough to handle safely. Do not wear your best clothes for this job.

You can just roast them straight from raw though - I quite often get them in the organic veg box I have delivered and I just peel them and toss them in the roasting pan with parboiled potatoes and parsnips.

So, after that, I’m I left with the dark purple beet I’m familiar with? It won’t be too mushy or anything?

I can just slice it to get it to look like the beet from the can?

Yes; if they’re bigger than a golf ball, an hour’s simmering will not leave them mushy; the skin should scrape off quite easily with an ordinary knife and then you just slice them. They won’t be exactly the same as beet from a can; they’ll have something called flavour.

You can actually just rub the skin off with a kitchen towel (well, it’ll turn very red, FYI.) Easier than peeling them any other way.

Don’t eat canned beets. Canned beets are nasty.

Beets are wrong in any form. I would have to be in a serious state of starvation before I’d eat one.

Fresh roasted beets are a luscious delicacy. Trim off their tops and some of the root tip, wash them, wrap them in foil and roast them like potatoes until tender - maybe as much as 1.5 hours for larger ones. Cool them off, peel off their skins, and proceed to slice or dice them for your recipe. Roasting intensifies and caramelizes their natural sweetness.

I like to serve them sliced, sprinkled with crumbled roquefort cheese and drizzled with olive oil. Yum! Now you make me want to buy some young beets at the next farmers’ market.

This is just wrong. I buy fresh beets, pickle them up with some red onions, wait as long as possible (usually no more than a day), then eat 'em all. Serious good eats.

Y’know, I used to feel that way, and then I had some beet chips, straight from the deep fryer. OH MY GOD, they were good. It brought out the sweetness of the beets and they were all crispy and a little salty and . . . just mmmm. So were the deep-fried carrot chips. I can now say safely that deep frying makes almost anything better.

I cooked them yesterday. Boiled in water for about an hour (until they felt like a boiled potato when pierced with a knife), then I peeled, sliced, and tossed them with caramelized onions, roasted pine nuts and goat cheese, and a little viniagrette I made with lemon juice, white wine vinegar and olive oil.

I served as a side dish with grilled chicken breasts and beer. Very tasty. Leftovers for lunch when I’ll eat the beet salad cold.

Thanks for the pointers. I think I’m going to try roasted beets next week.

Oh, yes, beets are delightful. You can cube them into a beef stew, if you’d like to beet your meat.



Beets are good on a hamburger, with pineapple slices and a fried egg.

Sounds bizarre but I had it at a restaurant recently and it was a deliciously natural combination.

We should go out to dinner. I’m in New Jersey (3000 miles from home) and I’ve made hamburgers with beets…I thought it was an Australian thing. But it’s really good. Can’t say I’ve gone as far as pineapple.