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Oven Roasted Beets

Oven Roasted Beets and Potatoes

Featuring beets from Flora Organica and Wild Rose Farm and Yukon Gold potatoes from Warren Creek Farm

In the days before widespread refrigeration, households prepared for the winter by filling a root cellar with long-keeping vegetables. Many plants prepare for winter in much the same way, packing their swollen roots with starches and sugars for underground storage. Sugars act as a natural antifreeze, helping the root — and indirectly, the plant — survive the winter intact. Those starches and sugars, intended to feed the plant in springtime, are also appealing to humans. They are why beets and other root vegetables are such favorites, and why roasting makes them taste so good.

Beets are colorful root vegetables that contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers. They are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of manganese, potassium and copper. Beets are also a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6. Yukon Gold potatoes contain nearly twice the amount of vitamin C than a regular baking potato and have a smooth and buttery texture when roasted. Try this perfect combination for a tasty side dish for a warm winter meal.

Ingredients (makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings)

4 medium golden beets, peeled
4 medium red beets, peeled
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Have ready a 9-inch oven-safe skillet (cast iron is perfect).
  2. Using a mandolin, slice the vegetables into rounds about 1/8-inch thick. (Alternatively, you can use the largest side of a box grater, but the slices may not be as rounded. You can also use a knife and cut slightly thicker slices—just be aware that they may take longer to cook in the oven.) Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the thyme and rosemary.
  4. Brush half the herbed butter into the base of the skillet and up the sides.  Stack 8 to 10 golden beet slices, and then lay the stack on its side along the edge of the skillet. Next, stack 8 to 10 red beet slices and lay it next to the golden beet stack, followed by a stack of 10 to 12 potato slices. Continue this pattern until you’ve formed a ring around the skillet.  Repeat the process to fill in the center.
  5. Brush the remaining herbed butter on top of the vegetables, then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast until the surface of the vegetables is golden and crisp and the interior is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

​Recipe originally appeared in the Co-op News, December 2015