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Roasted Beets à la Baba
(recipe, Susan Troccolo)
This recipe was adapted from a dish served at Craft in New York City.
- 25 small young beets, of different varieties (see Note)
- 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp. thinly sliced chives
- Fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrub the beets well, but don't peel them. In a large bowl, toss the beets in the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil, keeping the different varieties separate (see Note) so the colors don't bleed together. Put the aluminum pouches in the oven and roast about 1 hour, or until tender enough to be pierced easily with a knife.
- While the beets are still warm, remove their outer skins by rubbing them gently with paper towels. Trim the tops, but leave the long tail ends of the beets intact.
- Warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the beets and gently heat through, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels to remove the excess oil and arrange whole on a plate. Sprinkle lightly with chives and fleur de sel.
For a jewel-toned side dish, select a variety of beets, each about the size of a plum. Select types that roast well, such as Chioggia (an Italian heirloom variety with red-and-white alternating rings), golden (their deep gold color fades a little with cooking, but they taste mild and sweet), and Bulls Blood (another heirloom variety with an earthy, sweet flavor).
Read more about beets in Susan Troccolo's essay about the root vegetable.