How do I cook a beet?

The simplest reasonable way – I want to roast it.

I know I can boil it, chop it up with some walnuts and garlic and make a kickass salad, but that’s not what I’m after.

I just want to cut it in half. Stick it in the oven. Get something good out. Possible?
If so, how long and what temperature?

  • G

I’ve done them before, wrapped in aluminium foil and placed in a small dish. Bake them for 2hrs at Gas Mk 3. Or you can microwave them for about 10mins (uncovered) in a dish with a couple of tablespoons of water in the bottom.

From the Joy of Cooking:

It also suggests to toss with : 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive or walnut oil; 1 tablespoon minced parsley, chives, or dill; and fresh lemon or lime juice to taste.

I copied this all from the book… I’m not a beet fan, and i’m sure others have more interesting recipes. Good luck!

A handy tip to get the skins off - once the beets have cooled somewhat so that they can be handled without burning yourself much, take a wadded-up paper towel in one hand, and cradle the beet in your other hand in a folded-over paper towel (for double or greater thickness to soak up juice as well as insulate your hand). Use the wadded towel to rub more or less gently at the skin, and it should come off with a little effort. Throw out paper towels, being glad you avoided dyeing your hands a brilliant red.

Note to those who haven’t had beets - you might well see the aftereffects of the beet coloration show up the next morning in your toilet. Apparently my husband was new to them and it scared the hell out of him for a minute.

I often slice them up and steam them, greens and all. Mmm!

Side note: Beets were the one vegetable I refused to eat, well into adulthood. I’d only ever had PICKLED beets, and never knew the bitter sweet tasty goodness that is a plain ol’ beet and beet greens.

I’ve been cooking beets on the grill lately, I slice 'em into 1/2" thick slices, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Grill them until the edges are dark brown. Good stuff!

A dish you don’t mind getting stained. The foil package usually leaks a bit. Sometimes you can get the stain out; sometimes not.

And Rasa’s right, the greens are delicious also.
I bet they’d be good with bacon salt.


Do NOT use aluminum foil. You’ll just be steaming your beets.

Cube into about 1" pieces. Toss with oil and a little salt. Put into an UNCOVERED casserole dish; hopefully one large enough that the pieces can spread out in one layer. Bake in a 350F oven for 30-45 minutes (you’ll want to test for doneness).

With aluminum foil, you get steamed, slimy beets. In an open casserole, you get roasted beets, with that roasted flavor.

(Meanwhile, serve the greens wilted in a little bacon fat, tossed with a sweet Balsamic.)