Unwrapping a tin foil beet is a lot like unwrapping a present. Well maybe not really because you know exactly what’s going to be in there, but it’s still somehow such an exciting surprise. Roasting brings out the beet’s sweet flavor so they’re like precious rubies in a candy box when ready to eat. I usually do two pounds at a time on a weeknight or Sunday afternoon, and use some of them that evening as a side dish with whatever I’m eating. Then I refrigerate the rest and use them in salads or just for a quick snack throughout the week.
The cooking method and time really varies depending on the size of the beets you’re using. If using small beets, say golf ball size, and they are very fresh, then don’t both to peel. Just slice in half, wrap and roast. And remember to save the beet greens to saute with some olive oil and garlic. But if using those big honkers of a beet that you’re more likely to find come January and February, then it’s a little different. Peel them and then slice top down into segments (like orange slices) that are about 3/4 of an inch thick at their widest. If a beet is especially big, say softball sized, then I sometimes will slice widthwise, too. Then, keeping all the slices together in a neat package, place on tin foil and wrap so that it can easily be unfolded from the top.
Roasting time will vary, but I do at least an hour at 425 F. They’re ready when easily pierced with a fork. Be careful when handling, because there will be a lot of red beet juice just dying to drizzle out and stain your countertops. Although maybe that could look cool.
My current favorite quick treatment for roasted beets: toss with fresh orange juice, toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. Salt to taste and add a little Sriracha and you’re as good as gold. Or garnets.