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.
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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?