2005: (F)ED, that is Easy and Delicious but no, not even close to Fast. Thus Baked Beets are a definite keeper but best saved for (1) eating some night when supper is 60 - 90 minutes away or (2) making ahead some time when the oven's already on anyway.
2008: Beets have turned out to be one of the great convenience vegetables. Once they're baked or roasted or cooked some way, they make for great quick salads. So I often throw a few into the oven whenever the oven's on for something else.
For more ways to cook beets, check out (what's turned out to be, as A Veggie Venture continued past its first intended month) a huge collection of beet recipes.
Active time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 60 - 90 minutes
1 pound fresh beets, stems on
1 tablespoon butter, optional
Salt & pepper
Wash beets well, cut off all but about 1/2 inch of stems. (See ALANNA's TIPS.) If desired, peel. (See TIPS.) Wrap in foil and bake at 400F (see TIPS) for 60 - 90 minutes or until knife can be easily inserted into center. Remove from oven, peel, chop roughly and toss with butter, salt and pepper.
Nutrition Estimate with 1 T butter, Per Serving: 74 Cal (35% from Fat); 2 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 19 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 109 mg Sodium; 8 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point
Nutrition Estimate without butter, Per Serving: 49 Cal (3% from Fat); 2 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 18 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 88 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points
- According to Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, leaving a bit of stem helps preserve moisture and thus flavor.
- Beets are easy to peel before cooking -- just use a carrot peeler. They are also easy to peel after cooking, even while hot -- just slice off the stem end, then peel back and discard the skin. Me, I appreciate the flexibility and would make the choice based on when I'd have more time.
- Since the time estimate is so general, there's no advantage to preheating the oven. Just turn on the oven as soon as you start, then pop the beets in as soon as they're wrapped in foil.