Roasted beets with feta is as simple a recipe as you could want. Beets are roasted and then tossed with feta cheese, olive oil, and vinegar. By itself, a great side dish. But mix it with grains and that’s when the magic happens.
Earthy beets. Salty cheese. There’s something stunning about the contrast between the two. So much so that few other embellishments are required in this easy and ingenious side dish.
As for making and not just tasting this recipe, even experienced cooks may be surprised and, we dare say, stunned by two nifty tricks tucked into the method for roasting beets. Rather than simply plonking the beets on an oven rack, this recipe cleverly relies on wadded up parchment paper and a few drops of water to help capture moisture while the beets roast to ensure even cooking and tender results. (It also means no messy sheet pan or oven to scrub!) It also gives you permission to dispense with peeling the beets (as long as you scrub them) which not only keeps hands-on time to a minimum but creates a subtle crispness to the exterior of the beets. Sorta but not quite like a potato chip.–Jenny Howard
Roasted Beets with Feta
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 2 H, 15 M
- Serves 4
- 1 3/4 pounds small red or golden beets, scrubbed
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- A pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons sherry or malt vinegar
- One (5-ounce) block feta cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Take a large piece of parchment paper and scrunch it into a loose ball. Hold it under cold running water and then shake off the excess water. Open the paper and use it to line a heavy, large sauté pan with a lid.
- 2. Cut the beets in half and nestle them in the paper-lined sauté pan. (Wearing gloves is always a good idea when working with beets as their juice will stain everything they touch.) Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle with the crushed coriander seeds and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- 3. Take another large piece of wet parchment and place it over the beets. Cover the sauté pan with the lid, allowing the parchment paper to hang down over the side. Place the sauté pan in the oven and cook the beets until tender, 1 to 2 hours, depending on their size.
- 4. Remove the lid and the top piece of parchment. Scatter the feta over the beets, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and serve warm or cold.
DRESS IT UP
- Use the basic recipe and cooking technique described above as a jumping-off point for one or more of these substitutions and additions:
- Replace the vinegar with orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or Dijon mustard. Or simply drizzle a little of any of these over the finished beets just before serving.
- Just before serving, sprinkle chopped scallions, parsley, or mint over the cooked beets. Toasted walnuts or pistachios would also work well.
- Create a salad by arrange the beets over arugula or cooked quinoa.