Salt roasted beets are the ultimate way to cook beets in the oven. My method for preparing this delicious healthy red root vegetable wins the taste and texture test every time.
Once you've cooked beets this way you can use it to make a delicious beetroot and feta salad, simply dress it with pomegranate vinaigrette or serve it alongside a simple warm potato and herb salad with the perfect ribeye steak or crispy salmon fillet.
- What does salt roasting do?
- Why make a salt crust instead of just a layer of salt?
- Do I need to peel beetroot before roasting?
- How long to roast beets
- Important note
- Ingredients needed
- Useful equipment for this recipe
- How to make the salt crust
- How to roast the beets
- Frequently asked questions
- Serving suggestions
- Other recipes you might like
- Salt Roasted Beets
- Nutrition Facts
What does salt roasting do?
Beets, like most other root vegetables, are full of water. Water does not have any flavour.
Which means the natural sweet earthy flavours of the beets are diluted.
We need to remove the excess water somehow in order to concentrate the flavours.
Salt roasting in a crust is the perfect solution.
The salt will draw out the moisture from the beets.
Concentrating its flavour and improving the texture to be more dense, smooth and almost toffee-like.
Why make a salt crust instead of just a layer of salt?
By encasing beets individually in a salt crust the whole surface of the beets gets in contact with salt.
This means that the moisture gets drawn out evenly and the beets also gets seasoned during the roasting process.
The crust absorbs most of the moisture while protecting the outside of the beet from drying out too much.
The temperature in the crust also gets much hotter than the dry air circulating in the oven.
This means that the beets will be roasted much quicker than without a crust and the texture and flavour will be perfect.
Do I need to peel beetroot before roasting?
It does not matter how you cook beets. Either boiling beets or roasting. Never peel them.
The skin protects the flesh from drying out and losing too much colour and nutrients and also helps to maximise the earthy-sweet flavour of beets.
If that's not enough reason, then from a purely comfort and esthetic point of view it's much cleaner, easier, and your beets will look a lot prettier if you remove the skins afterwards.
How long to roast beets
This depends on the size of the beets and the temperature you cook them at.
- Medium beets - Takes about 45 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Celcius.
- Large beets - Takes about 60 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Celcius.
The best way to check the doneness of beets is to insert a wooden skewer into them.
If the object you're using inserts without resistance and comes out easily then the beets are cooked.
If they seem a bit raw then simply cook them a while longer.
Do NOT salt bake baby beets.
Rather use my method for boiled beets instead.
This is because they are small, have little water and their texture and flavour will not benefit from salt roasting.
- Beets - Medium sized beets works best. If you get them with the leaves on, then remove the leaves and use in a salad or give it a quick stir fry.
- Flour - Any flour will do. I used plain all-purpose white flour.
- Water - Normal tap water.
- Salt - Fine or semi-course salt works best. Don't use the very course rock salt as the salt does not spread evenly if you use that.
Useful equipment for this recipe
Electronic Kitchen Scales
How to make the salt crust
- Combine the salt, water, and flour together in a mixing bowl.
- Form a ball of dough and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out a piece of dough for each beet you want to cook.
- Wrap it until completely encased. Poke a hole in the top for steam to escape.
How to roast the beets
- Turn the oven to 425F degrees Fahrenheit or 220C degrees Celsius.
- Roast the beets for 45 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted easily into the centre of the beets without much resistance.
- If it still feels raw then cook it longer.
- Once the beets are cooked, crack open the crust and let the beets cool down before removing the skin.
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Frequently asked questions
Make sure the beets have cooled down. Seal in an airtight container and place into the fridge until needed.
Salt roasted beets can also be store in the freezer, unlike boiled beets.
Sealed airtight it will last for up to 14 days in the fridge
The leaves from large beets can be washed and cooked like spinach while the leaves from baby or smaller beets can be thoroughly washed and used in salads.
You might want to skip baking it in a salt crust or add some more flair to the crust you are making.
- Wrap in foil and bake on a bed of salt. This method is not as effective as with a salt crust but still makes tasty beets.
- Sprinkle the salt onto the oven tray and bake straight on the salt without foil. This way the beets will dry out even more and is a good method to use if you are planning on making beetroot roll-ups or if you want to puree it and use in baking.
- Add crushed up activated charcoal to the crust for a dramatic black look.
- Add herbs and spices to the salt crust to give the beets an extra layer of flavour.
What to do with roasted beets? Below are a few simple dishes you could serve it with.
- Simply dressed with pomegranate vinaigrette
- In a beetroot and feta salad
- With Chimichurri steak
- Side for bavette steak in chocolate bbq sauce
- Oven-baked chicken breast
- Roasted pork tenderloin glazed in teriyaki sauce
- Slow roasted leg of lamb
- Pan-fried salmon
Other recipes you might like
If you want to know how to properly cook vegetables and simple side dishes then you'll find the following recipes helpful.
- How to boil beets
- Michelin star mashed potatoes
- Real steakhouse creamed spinach
- Sweet miso baked eggplant
- Perfectly cooked rice
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