Today we’re rolling out our next video from Chef Richard Bradford, creator of the recipes in The Whole30 and owner of Whole30 Approved Pre-Made Paleo. (Missed our other #AskChefRichard videos/Q&As/recipes? Check them out here!)
Today, Chef Richard will be demonstrating roasting techniques for Beets, as outlined on page 167 of The Whole30. And as a bonus, Chef Richard is also answering your Beet FAQs and sharing a delicious Whole30-compatible recipe. (See below for how to submit your Whole30-related food, cooking, or grocery shopping question to Chef Richard!)
Beets, from The Whole30
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All About Beets, with Chef Richard
What is the best way to prep beets without making a huge mess?
Red beets can be messy. One strategy (as I did in the video) is to use golden beets, which don’t stain like red beets do. If you are using red beets, one preparation that might keep beet messes to a minimum is to roast a whole beet in foil. Take a fork and evenly stab the entire surface of the beet. Wrap it in foil and roast at 400 degrees until it is tender (35-45 minuts). After roasting, remove the beet from the foil and peel the beet under cold running water. This will keep the beet juice contained to one area of your kitchen, rather than getting all over your countertop and cutting board.
I don’t really love beets. Do you have any recipes or cooking methods that will change my mind?
Beets get a bad rap because people often have bad childhood memories of eating canned beets. When cooked properly, beets are quite tasty. To ease into eating them, roast them as demonstrated in the video above, or boil them with orange juice and thyme to infuse them with great flavor. Once cooked and cooled, toss beets in vinaigrette and serve in a salad (see the recipe below). Served in this way, the eating experience becomes less about the beet and more about eating a tasty dish of which beets are just one component.
I’ve noticed beets come in different varieties: bright red, golden, pink and white striped, etc. Is there a difference in flavor between the varieties? Do different varieties have different preparations?
Golden beets are a bit milder and slightly sweeter than red or striped beets, so they may be a good option for someone who is trying beets for the first time. You can prepare all varieties of beets in the same way; size, rather than variety, will determine cooking time.
Can I cook beets in the microwave like a potato?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Boiling or roasting beets ensures consistent texture, but a microwave does not.
What are some go-to herbs, spices, or vegetables that pair well with beets?
I love serving beets in a mixed greens salad with seasonal veggies. A salad of baby spinach, roasted beets and orange slices is great too. My go-to seasonings for beets are salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and citrus, as I demonstrate in the recipe below.
Recipe: Roasted Beets in Grapefruit-Thyme Vinaigrette
For the beets:
2 medium beets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For the vinaigrette:
¼ cup grapefruit juice
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons mustard powder
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
ROAST beets as demonstrated in the video above.
WHILE the beets are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk the grapefruit juice, garlic, and mustard together in a small mixing bowl. Add the olive oil in a steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Add the thyme, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
ONCE beets have finished roasting, remove them the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Toss in the grapefruit thyme vinaigrette and serve warm or chilled. (If serving cold, allow dressed beets to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.)
- Serve as-is (warm) as the perfect side dish to steak, burgers, cod, or chicken.
- Serve chilled beets over cucumber “noodles” (using a julienne peeler or spiralizer) as an alternative to a side salad.
- Serve warm or chilled beets over butter lettuce or frisee greens. Add chunks of grapefruit, slivered almonds, and roasted chicken to make a complete meal.
- Serve warm over baby kale, scrambled eggs, and diced avocado for an easy breakfast salad.
Have a food or cooking question for Chef Richard? Find him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and use the hashtag #AskChefRichard. Don’t want to roast tomatoes but still want Chef Richard’s tasty cooking? Visit Pre-Made Paleo to have his Whole30 compatible meals shipped straight to your door.
Chef Richard Bradford began his culinary career in Atlanta restaurants before studying at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduation in 2004, he returned to Atlanta to launch RSB Catering. After seven successful years, he sold the catering business and formed RSB Foods to develop Pre-Made Paleo, a nationally-distributed line of gourmet prepared meals following the Whole30 program. He is now based in Dallas, TX.
Photo credit: Erin K. Handley