Beets are an all-season crop on our farm! They store well and are abundant in our CSA shares. Fresh, locally grown beets are nothing like canned beets of the past, they have great flavor and texture. Beets are surprisingly versatile! We’ve been known to put them into brownies, sandwiches, and I even have “beet burgers” on my list of things to try! Roasted beets are easy and topping them with crunchy, candied nuts is a great way to change things up. If you want to add a dollop of créme frâiche or crumble of soft cheese.
Roasting root vegetables is a basic technique easy for anyone to master. After many pans of root vegetables my favorite method is to line a baking pan with parchment paper and toss cubed roots coated with oil on top then sprinkle with salt and pepper. I like to cut them smaller so they cook faster, especially beets which seem to take longest to cook. I recently came across a tip to roast parsnips at a lower oven temp so the insides cook before the sugars caramelize – and this tip works well for beets also. In my experience the sugars in beets can sometimes burn and taste bitter, so roasting them at 350°F yielded a soft, slightly sweet dish.
The other nice thing about roasting these at a lower oven temp is you can place the nuts in the oven at the same time, and they’ll cool off just as the beets are finished making this preparation easy! I tossed the shelled pistachios with local maple syrup (order yours today from CSA+), a touch of cayenne, and olive oil. Shelled pistachios are a bit expensive (I picked these up from the bulk department at Greenstar, which is less expensive), but you can sub walnuts or pecans if you prefer.
Roasted Beets with Candied Pistachios
4 beets, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt + pepper
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a parchment lined baking pan for 30 – 40 minutes until softened.
Mix the pistachios, olive oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss to thoroughly combine. Spread into an even layer on parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes until nuts are toasted, then let cool completely. Break into small chunks when cool.
To serve: Transfer roasted beets to a serving dish and top with candied nuts.