orange balsamic glazed beets

Posted on May 16, 2011 in Food

Ready for a confession? I’m a beet hater.

Or at least I was, before I tried this recipe. You see, I have all of these not-so-fond memories of beets from childhood. Growing up as one of four kids of two working parents, many of our weekday dinners had a lot of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables as sides. Sometimes my parents would serve, what the 8 year-old me thought were beets and they were delicious! Soft, perfectly-circular slices of dark purple. Sweet, soft, a bit tart and way fruity. Yum! And then like horrible dark magic, the next time we ate beets, they’d be hard, organically-shaped, earthy and very, very vegetable-y.

It wasn’t until I was at least 14 that I realized that canned, jelled cranberry relish wasn’t the same thing as canned beets.

(image source)

Go figure.

Once I discovered the source of my confusion, can you blame me for hating beets? Compared to the super sweet, dessert-like flavor of cranberry relish, beets were yucky! I carried this bias for decades. Actually, until the fine folks at my CSA forced me to eat beets by placing them in my weekly share last week.

Babyface tried to convince me that beets are sweet and delicious. But I was decidedly skeptical when I went out into the world searching for recipes. While I was willing to try them, I had absolutely zero confidence I’d ever really like beets. I was wrong.

These beets are long-roasted to make sure as much of the natural sugar becomes caramelized as possible. The beets are then tossed in a sticky sweet balsamic and orange glaze that balances out the earthy flavor of the beets. In other words, you should really make these.

Orange Balsamic Glazed Beets

(lightly adapted from Simply Recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beets, greens and stems removed (save for another recipe) and scrubbed
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Juice and zest of one orange
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Rub beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil purses. Roast in oven for 1-2 hours, depending on size and age of beets, or until beets are very soft when stuck with fork. Remove from oven and let cool until you are able to handle.
  2. While beets cool, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, mix orange juice, orange zest, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the glaze becomes thick and syrupy.
  3. Once beets are cool, peel off outer skins and then chop the beats into bite-sized pieces. Toss beets with glaze and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Anyone got a good jellied cranberry sauce recipe?

17 Comments

  1. Did you eat the beet greens too? My Grandmother used to make them all the time when I was a kid. So good!

    • I haven’t yet, but I saved them to make something! I have bacon in mind. :) Do you know your Grandmother’s recipe?

    • Beet Greens Risotto is a delicious way to use the greens (and I usually toss in some diced, roasted golden beets to for more beet-y taste). Yes, I’m a beet lover!

      • Oooh! Do you have the recipe? That sounds yum.

      • I actually don’t use a recipe and go by what I know and like, but now I think maybe I should write mine down! Here’s a basic ingredient list you can tweak, ordered roughly in the order I would add them to the pot. Make like you would any normal risotto, adding the greens in with the last addition of liquid:

        1T olive oil
        1 small sweet yellow onion, diced
        1 sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
        1T butter
        2C arborio rice
        7C hot chicken stock (or veggie) + 1C white wine, added to the hot stock
        2 bunches beet greens, washed and trimmed
        6 golden beets, roasted and diced
        1/2 C grated parmesan

  2. I’m a HUGE fan of beets! But like you, not until recently :) This past year is when I discovered them. I love them roasted, and they are really yummy grated up raw and tossed into salads. I also love juicing them. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Oooh, grated up raw! That sounds adventurous. :P

  3. I HATE beets. Every way I’ve tried making them, I don’t like them. They taste like dirt. I’ve given up on trying now. You’ve given me hope to try again, but I’m still skeptical and I don’t want the beets to go to waste if I do make this recipe and still hate them

    • There is nothing wasteful about trying something new. :)

  4. I’m another beet-hater. South Central PA has a fondness for canned and pickled beets, and it just turns my stomach even thinking about them. I’ve never tried them roasted or something, though. I would TRY it if I was at a restaurant and someone offered me a bite, but honestly, just thinking about it makes my throat tighten.

    BUT THESE LOOK GOOD AND I AM GLAD YOU CONVERTED <3

    • You must try them! They get so sweet and soft when they are roasted. Yum.

  5. I am a recent beet lover as well! I was always served the pickled beets as a kid (YUCK), but love them roasted, grated raw on a salad, and grilled- coated with a little bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil!

    • Oh, and beet greens are good, too. They remind me a lot of swiss chard.

  6. Thanks for this recipe, I will be trying it when we get our first shipment of beets from our CSA. Sounds delish! I also am a reformed beet hater. My favorite is tossing beet slices with a bunch of late-season root veggies (taters, sweet taters, parsnips, carrots, squash, etc) in some olive oil and a variety of seasonings (I like a moroccan vibe with cumin, cinammon, coriander, and allspice), then roasting until they are sweet and yummy! delish side dish for early fall!

    • Ohhhhhh, that sounds YUM!

  7. I have been trying to recreate a beet salad I had in a restaurant called Meadowlark in Dayton,OH I am going to try replacing an orange vinaigrette (That wasn’t quite right)with this method. Then top with with goat cheese,walnuts and served over a bed of spring greens. It is beautiful to the eyes AND tummy!

  8. This was AMAZINGLY good. I added sliced kiwi as a garnish for flavor, color and presentation as am taking it for an Easter side dish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>