Warm roasted beet salads have become quite a trend–and for good reason! First of all, beets are gorgeous and delicious. They present beautifully, even when not prepared, and they possess a deep, rich flavor that plays wonderfully with other flavors. In addition to that, beets are simply hella good for you.
One of the things beets are most valued for is their support in detoxification and their positive effects on the blood and liver. Beets are also high in fiber, immune-boosting Vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. Further, these little powerhouse taproots consist of the B Vitamin folate which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
Wait–it doesn’t even stop there! Beets fight inflammation, lower blood pressure, possess anti-cancer properties, and boost stamina! (Is that why most healing potions in RPGs are red? It’s beet juice, isn’t it!)
Basically, you could say this vegetable doesn’t miss a… beet.
In my experience, roasted beets have typically been paired with other deep, rich flavors like toasted nuts, dark greens, soft cheeses, and pomes like apples and pears. But this North Carolina spring/summer weather (in February!) has got my heart singing and my flavor receptors pining for fresh, clean flavors.
So, I played with said flavors and the result was awesome. Orange, fresh thyme, balsamic vinegar, and honey were a huge game changer for the roasted beet as I knew it.
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Orange and Thyme Roasted Beets
BEETS1.5 pounds of beets (approx. 1 bunch), scrubbed and peeled
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
DRESSING2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons of finely grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves chopped
GARNISHChopped parsley (optional)
- Tin foil
BEETSPre-heat oven to 400º F.
- Cut the stems and gnarly roots, and peel the beets under cool running water to avoid a death by beet juice.
- Pat the beets with paper towels, and wrap with tinfoil leaving the top open.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the tops of the beets, then sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Place in the oven and roast for approx. 30-40 minutes, or until beets are tender. (Test with a fork.)
DRESSINGIn a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, and orange juice.
- When the beets are done roasting, allow them to cool for a few moments.
- Once cooled, cut the beets into 1-inch bite-size pieces.
- Place the beets into a large bowl and drizzle the balsamic, honey, and orange mixture over them.
- Add fresh thyme and orange zest, and toss again.
- Garnish with fresh parsley (optional)