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Baked Beets Recipe

Baked Beets Recipe

History:
Beets have been cultivated for thousands of years and have a rich history in various cuisines around the world. They are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region and were highly prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans for their medicinal properties. Over time, beets made their way across Europe and eventually to North America.

Beets are known for their vibrant crimson color and earthy flavor. They can be enjoyed raw in salads, pickled, steamed, or roasted. One lesser-known but equally delicious way to enjoy beets is by baking them. Baking beets brings out their natural sweetness and adds a lovely caramelized flavor to the dish. In this recipe, we will explore how to make delectable Baked Beets.

Fun Facts:
1. Beets have been used historically for their medicinal properties and were believed to treat a variety of ailments, from digestive issues to headaches.
2. The red pigment in beets, called betacyanin, is a powerful antioxidant. It not only contributes to the vibrant color but also offers various health benefits.
3. Beets are an excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, and potassium. They are also low in calories, making them a nutritious addition to any meal.

Ingredients:
- 4 large beetroot
- Drippings (from roasted meats) or olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable or chicken stock

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Start by boiling the large beetroot. Place the beetroot in a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Cook the beets for approximately two hours, being careful not to pierce them. Boiling the beets before baking ensures that they become tender and cook evenly in the oven.
3. Once the beets are cooked, remove them from the pot and let them cool. Once they have cooled, peel the skin off the beets using your hands or a peeler. The skin should come off easily.
4. After peeling, mash the beets using a fork or potato masher until they are very smooth. Alternatively, you can use a food processor for a smoother consistency.
5. Add a little bit of drippings (from roasted meats) or olive oil to the mashed beets. This will add richness and moistness to the dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the seasoning based on your preference.
6. Next, transfer the mashed beets to a greased baking pan or dish. Spread them evenly to create a smooth surface.
7. Pour vegetable or chicken stock into the pan, enough to moisten the beets without making them too watery. The stock will further enhance the flavor and add moisture during the baking process.
8. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately one hour. Baking the beets at a moderate temperature allows the flavors to develop slowly and the beets to caramelize. Check the beets occasionally and stir gently to ensure even cooking.
9. After one hour, remove the pan from the oven and let the Baked Beets cool slightly before serving. The dish is best enjoyed warm.

Serving Suggestions:
- Serve the Baked Beets as a side dish alongside roasted meats, such as beef or chicken.
- Pair the beets with a fresh green salad for a nutritious and colorful meal.
- Garnish the Baked Beets with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, for added freshness.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
1. Roasted Beets: Instead of boiling the beets, you can roast them in the oven for a caramelized and slightly crispy texture. Simply wrap the whole beets in foil and bake at 400°F (200°C) for about one hour.
2. Beet Salad: Toss roasted or boiled beets with your favorite salad greens, goat cheese or feta, nuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a refreshing and vibrant salad.
3. Beet Hummus: Blend cooked beets, chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to create a colorful and flavorful beet hummus. Serve with pita bread or vegetables for dipping.

Enjoy the delightful flavors of Baked Beets as you explore the versatility of this humble root vegetable. Discover the magic that baking brings to this dish and savor the earthy, sweet taste of beets in every bite.

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