I was talking with my friend the cookbook editor, bemoaning the fact that I’d tried to roast beets and failed terribly. “Well,” she said, “did you cook them long enough?”
It was a fair point. I hadn’t, and I was reluctant to try again.
Do you know how wonderful beets are? How they’ve got that strange almost-translucent mottled pattern after being peeled, how their leafy greens can be eaten just like swiss chard, how they’re the vegetable with the highest sugar content but also very few calories? (Riddle me that one … and while you’re at it, can you explain what the hell is in Diet Coke?)
If you don’t know how wonderful they are, you do now because I’m telling you. And for all the effort that is peeling, peeling, peeling those crazy tough little root vegetables, not to mention the red stain they leave on every single thing (the counter, your hands, the baby, you name it), they better be out-of-this-world if I’m going to have to wear latex gloves to prepare them and then wait 5,000 hours while they cook.
A note about the latex gloves — they make ALL the difference. They — along with the deliciousness factor — are what make roasting beets at home worth it. What, don’t have any lying around the kitchen? Ask your husband if he has any from a home repair project. Ask your doctor if she minds if you “borrow” a pair.
Maybe last time I didn’t cut them up small enough, because this time they didn’t seem to take so incredibly long to cook. An hour and a half? Two hours? And they were so delicious, I almost didn’t share them with anyone.
Nate loves them so much, he thinks they are dessert! And from a baby who is basically worshiping at the altar that is Cookie Monster, that is saying something.
By the way, my babysitter has informed me that Cookie Monster no longer eats cookies but now eats vegetables.
My first response: Come on, people, get a grip!
My second: I am positive he is eating beets.
Edited to add: Cookbook editor is now telling me that there is no need to peel beets!!!! She suggests wrapping individual beets in tin foil and baking. Afterward, she claims, skin falls off like magic! I will believe it when I see it. Kinda like how I’ll believe her when she posts a comment to this blog instead of emailing me her reaction.