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Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

Boiled beets lose much of their flavor in their cooking liquid, but slow-roasting beets concentrates their sweet, earthy flavors.

Balsamic vinegar – a sweeter vinegar – balances the natural sugars in the beets with gentle acidity. Salt brings out subtle notes of earthy, vegetal flavors from these roasted root vegetables, and butter rounds out the dish, leaving the beets rich, smooth and silky.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Double-duty cooking. By coating the beets in oil and covering them with foil, we’re roasting and steaming them at the same time. The oil conducts heat and imparts the flavor you’d get from roasting, and the steam that naturally comes out of the beets is trapped in the foil – which helps them cook quickly and evenly.
  2. Break out the cake tester. Slicing into the beets with a knife to test for doneness will spoil your presentation later. Use a cake tester to check for doneness and you’ll be rewarded with nice, neatly sliced beets in your finished dish.
  3. Peel with ease. Once the beets are cooked through, transfer them to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic. The steam that builds up inside each beet will loosen its peel – so that they’ll slide off easily, without a lot of messy knife-work.
  4. Beware of boiling. Just warm up your beets as you are glazing them. Overheating will break the delicate emulsion of butter, vinegar and beet juice.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Gloves. Keep a pair of rubber or latex gloves on hand to avoid beet juice stains on your fingertips.
  2. Parchment. Roll out enough parchment paper to cover your cutting board to keep it stain-free as you cut into your beets.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Medium-sized baking sheet with tin foil

Parchment paper

Cake tester

Paring knife




Plastic wrap

Medium sauté pan

Spoon or rubber spatula

  • 3 small beets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (depending on pan size this might evaporate too quickly causing the butter to separate)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Serves: 4

Total Time: 1 hour

Active Time: 15 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash beets and let dry.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Rub beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place beets on the sheet tray and cover the whole thing with foil tightly.
  3. Roast beets in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender. They are done when a cake tester inserted into the center of a beet meets no resistance.
  4. Remove pan from oven and remove foil cover. Transfer beets to a large bowl with tongs and cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the beets are cool.
  5. Once cooled, peel the skin off using a paring knife. On cutting board with parchment paper, cut the beets in half and then into 1-inch wedges.
  6. When ready to serve, place the wedges in a medium sauté pan with the white balsamic vinegar and butter and heat them through. Simmer the vinegar and then add the butter. This should come up to a simmer and form a glaze. Add 1 tablespoon of water if needed to prevent the butter from “breaking.”
  7. Taste the beets for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Colorful beet salad with candied pecans & vinaigrette

For a delicious and colorful salad, toss the beets with sliced apples, red onions, goat cheese, candied pecans and vinaigrette.  For a more complete vegetarian meal, add a grain such as bulgar or quinoa.