When I was a kid, I used to eat pickled beets cold out of the can, or my mother would put them in a salad. When I talk about beets now, people wrinkle their noses and say, “Ew!” That’s because they haven’t had fresh baked whole beets, which brings out their sweetness. This is an amazingly nutritious vegetable and they are plain delicious when cooked fresh.
I warn you that fresh beets require at least 1 to 2 hours of baking time. You need to keep checking them with a fork. Know what I’m saying here? But they are worth the effort.
Fresh whole beats (small, medium or large)
4 Cloves chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim the leaves off the top and cut off the bottom of the beets. Scrub the beets to clean off any dirt, leaving the skin on. The skin will easily peel off once they are baked. If some of the beets are large, cut them in half.
Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil, and place the prepared beets in the pan in a single layer. Toss the beets with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil, and crimp the edges to seal.
Bake for 1-2 hours, depending upon the size of the beets. Check frequently with a fork to see if they are tender. Once they are tender, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool until they can be handled. The skin should slip right off.
Slice into pieces and serve as a side dish. Feel free to add some goat cheese. It’s a delicious combination.