Basic Roasted Beets
1. To prepare the beets, wash but do not peel them or cut off the root. Cover with water in a large pot and boil for 15-20 minutes until the skin loosens. Remove from pot and let them cool enough that they can be handled. Rub the skin off with rubber gloves or, if the skin doesn’t slip off easily, scrape it off with a butter knife or spoon.
2. Small beets can be roasted whole. Cut larger beets in halves or quarters. Toss in a bowl with olive oil to coat, add salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350 F, for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally so that they do not burn.
3. Alternatively, beets that have been half-cooked in boiling water and skinned can be cut into thick slices and pan roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, in a cast iron skillet on low heat for 10 or 15 minutes.
4. Roasted beets can be eaten hot out of the pan or oven, either by themselves or tossed with beet greens that have been quickly stir-fried with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. They are even better stored in the refrigerator for several days and used in salads or on an antipasto platter.
NOTE: Beets can be roasted with the skin on and then peeled. But I prefer to peel them first so that they caramelize on the outside as they cook.