The Art of Cooking The Perfect Beet

So many guests ask me “How do I cook the perfect beet”?  Well I have one way I do it and they all come out divine.  There are so many different kinds of beets out there now a days that you can really push the envelope on what you can do with them.  First I want to share with you what I have learned over the years about beets and maybe what I have learned will help you.  Let’s go all the back to where beets originated.

Beets are native to the Mediterranean, even though the leaves have been eaten since before written history, the beet root was generally used medicinally and did not become a popular food until French Chefs recognized their properties in the early 1800’s. To me the sad thing is the fact that it is estimated that about two-thirds of commercial beet crops end up canned.

Please stay away from those large beets which have a hairy taproot. All those tiny roots (hair) are an indication of age and toughness. Most beets that come to the market will be 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Any larger and they begin to grow a tough, woody center. Although the littler beets are harder to work with, it will be worth it as they will be sweeter and more tender.

So here is my secret to cooking beets.  Never cut the tops all the way off and always leave the taproot on.  Wash and scrub lightly to get off the dirt, place in a mixing bowl with EVOO, and S &P.  Toss around so they are all coated evenly.  Wrap each one individually with foil.  be very gentle.  Place in oven at 350 degrees.  Place beets in, I cannot tell you how long they will take because they all vary in size, so have a couple skewers ready to check for tenderness.  I keep checking, as I like my beets cooked but still firm.  Remember, they will keep cooking as long as they are wrapped.  So unwrap and enjoy.  I will have some beet recipes to come in the near future, but you get the picture.

From Chef Dave of The Laughing Pear Group……Bon Apetit!

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