Simple Gourmet: Roasted Beets With Fresh Mint and Chèvre

by | May 27, 2009
Roasted Beets With Fresh Mint and Chevre

Roasted Beets With Fresh Mint and Chèvre

I am very proud to share this recipe with you since it came by special request from my dad–a self-professed beet hater. I won him over with these beets several years ago and he is still talking about them! The same recipe stole my heart back when I thought I hated beets too.

Are you convinced?

Roasted Beets with fresh mint and chèvre is an elegant, impressive dish that hardly requires any cooking skills. If you are still worried you will not like the flavor of beets, you can look for the milder and less messy golden or candy-striped beets. Whenever possible I like to use a few different beet varieties to mix up the colors and flavors, but today I’m sticking with the common red garden beet.

Mint Leaves

Mint Leaves

To begin you must eliminate all thoughts of substituting canned beets for the fresh ones in this recipe. Fresh roasted beets have a rich, sweet and earthy flavor that is completely unlike the flaccid purple slivers that come in a can.

You will also need fresh mint leaves. Most grocery stores and farmers markets will have fresh mint this time of year. Dried leaves really don’t cut it in this recipe.

Chèvre is a soft goat cheese that a close friend of mine describes as “like cream cheese only better.” A little bit goes a very long way, so I always buy the smallest amount possible (this time it cost me $2.89).

Chevre

Chèvre

Be careful not to add the cheese directly to hot beets or it will melt and form an unattractive pink slime. It still tastes good, but it’s better to avoid this problem by cooling the beets beforehand. An hour in the refrigerator works well, but if you are in a hurry you can get away with 10-15 minutes in the freezer.

This dish is very easy to scale for large batches, making it ideal for parties and potlucks.

Roasted Beets With Fresh Mint and Chèvre

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of beets (3 large), any garden variety
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/4 oz. chèvre, crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375.

If the leaves are still on your beets, twist them off leaving enough stem to use as a handle for peeling. If your beet greens are still fresh and springy I recommend cleaning them and cooking them up with some onions and garlic (cook them like spinach). Beet greens are so full of potassium that they are salty to the taste, so be careful with your seasonings because they are easy to over-salt. Both beets and beet greens are extremely good for people with high blood pressure.

Peel your beets using a vegetable peeler (I recommend this one) and chop evenly into bite-sized cubes. Discard stems. Cubes should be approximately 3/4 to 1 inch on each side. Keep in mind that the larger your pieces the longer they will take to cook.

Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to beets and toss to coat. Sprinkle beets with salt and place in a single layer in a large Pyrex baking pan. Place in oven on middle rack and roast until beets are tender and have a glazed-like appearance, stirring every 8-10 minutes. Roasting takes approximately 35 minutes.

When beets are finished roasting, transfer them to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 30 min, but 45 min to 1 hr is preferable.

5 minutes before the beets are done chilling, stack mint leaves on top of each other and chiffonade them by rolling lengthwise like a cigarette and slicing into thin ribbons. I like to cut the ribbons in half once by making a single cut through the middle of the pile along the vein of the leaves. Discard the stems.

Using a fork, crumble a small amount of chèvre into a small bowl or plate and set aside.

Sprinkle mint onto the beets and stir, leaving a few ribbons for garnish. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer beets and mint to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chèvre and remaining mint. Serve immediately.

Do you love beets? Hate beets? Interested in having pink urine?

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37 Responses to “Simple Gourmet: Roasted Beets With Fresh Mint and Chèvre”

  1. Hanlie says:

    I don’t usually eat cheese, but I’ll make an exception for chevre! I love goat’s milk cheese! And we eat a lot of beets, so I’ll definitely give this recipe a try!

  2. I’ll have to try this one! I’m not a huge beet fan either, but I tried a Brazilian black beans and rice with beets recipe while I was going vegan for a week, and it turned out surprisingly good.

    http://www.poweredbytofu.com/2009/05/13/its-vegan-week/

  3. I love beets and just bought some at the farmer’s market. While I love roasting them, which I often do whole so that my fingers don’t turn colors (which is why I also love golden or white beets) right away, cooking them in the pressure cooker is amazing. It takes only 3 minutes at pressure when cut into pieces and they taste great.

    I love that youi’ve won people over to beets. Most people, probably including President Obama, haven’t had delicous fresh beets. They can’t be beat.

    Thanks for another great post. I am going to link to your site from my blog at http://www.theveggiequeen.blogspot.com.

  4. Steph says:

    i love beets! Yum! one of my favorite veggies. the golden and stripey varieties are great, too, but i love how reg purple beets turn everything purple! i always look forward to getting loads of them in my late summer/fall farm share. it’ll be nice to try out a new recipe, thanks!

  5. Andrea says:

    That’s so funny. I just made some roasted beets yesterday. Was wishing I had chevre, but didn’t think about the mint. I’ll have to try that!

  6. I love beets. I like to roast the golden beets. Sometimes I get beet cravings. I like the addition of cheese in this. very nice.

  7. Jeff clark says:

    I love beets. I grew up with homemade pickled beets, but now I find roasted beets sweet enough. I roast them whole with garlic, olive oil, salt pepper and rosemary. Once cool enough to touch, I peel them and save them in the refrigerator. Goat cheese and beets make a classic combo, but just adding some roasted beets to any salad brightens up any salad.

    I have my college aged daughter eating beets, but my wife still is not a fan. Oh well, more for me.

  8. Allie says:

    Mmmm, I love beets! But then again I’m Polish so I think it’s a requirement…

  9. Berni says:

    Delicious, I make a very similar dish and totally love it. I’ve been staying at my Folks place for a few days and pulling beets from their glorious vege garden, juicing and roasting and munching.

  10. Eleanor says:

    Love beets!! And yes, I’ve noticed the pink urine effect. Try making this dish the night before you take a drug test if you want to freak ‘em out. ; )
    By the way, asparagus also has a… um… noticeable effect. Who says vegetables are no fun?

  11. Chris says:

    Hi Darya,
    I just found your site (via a lifehacker post you made – the internet is weirdly connected) and I love food, all kinds. I love exotic food, all kinds. I love vegetables, all kinds. And, I love to cook. But…

    I hate beets. I have a deep-seated belief that no vegetable should bleed. It’s just not natural! As a child I would sit for (literally) hours before my plate refusing to eat the fresh beets my mother had so graciously cooked for me. I would sit there as my lovely mashed potatoes would turn a sickly pink color as they absorbed the oozing beet juice that osmotically turned a beautiful home-cooked meal into a pinkish purple morass of what appeared to be fresh road-kill.

    However, as a “mature” adult, I’m now seeking reform (Semper Reformanda!) so, I am going to give your recipe a try sometime over the summer. I even bookmarked this recipe using “Delicious” which seemed oddly oxymoronic. But, as a pastoral counselor I have often said to counselees “Real change is possible. Real change is difficult.” I’m now going to attempt to eat my words. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Chris,

      I am so glad you found me! I completely understand your aversion to childhood food horrors and I commend you for trying to conquer it. For the last few years I have taken pride in finding ways to love foods I used to hate, especially Brussels sprouts. May I recommend you start with golden or striped beets? They do not “bleed” and have a mild, sweeter flavor which can be a good bridge to the full red.

      Thanks for bookmarking me and let me know how it goes!

      dp

  12. Larry Hogue says:

    Tried this out at a dinner party yesterday. It was a hit! Even the professed beet-haters liked it.

    Had a little trouble crumbling the chevre. Are there firmer types than the one I had, which was quite creamy? Some people suggested using feta, but that seems like quite a different flavor (though I’ve never done a side by side comparison).

    Weirdly, our local Henry’s Market (now owned by Wild Oats markets) didn’t have California chevre, only Wisconsonian, Canadian, or French. I went for the Wisconsin.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Glad you liked the recipe! I had never had problems crumbling chevre until this time, actually. My theory is that I had left it sitting at room temperature for too long. I think if it were colder it would be less gooey.

      Also, sometimes your local cheese chop will have their own fresh chevre, which is usually the best option.

  13. nolan says:

    let’s make this.

  14. I love beets, especially roasted! That’s how I got my partner to like them–woohoo! We grow our own in the backyard, and I usually serve them with feta and pecans, so I’m definitely going to have to try chevre & mint–sounds like a lovely summer combination.

  15. Kidaphex says:

    I’m so glad to find this recipe! I “created” something similar a few weeks ago, and my friends and family thought I was nuts! However mine is a little bit different, I added kiwi with the beets, and used a little bit of sweet balsamic vinegar as well. But the beets and chèvre are just delicious! I will add mint next time. Cheers.

  16. Tess says:

    I made this for myself for dinner with some homegrown Moroccan mint and a few fresh greens from the garden. I served the beets with candied pecans (tossed pecan pieces in corn syrup with a little salt, pepper, sugar, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and molasses and baked at 375 for 15 minutes) and the thing that really brought it together was a squeeze of fresh lemon! The combo of beets, chevre, mint, sweet-salty pecans and lemon was near-heavenly. The only thing missing was some fresh French bread to take care of the leftover juices! Thanks for a delicious and healthy recipe, I’ll be using it again :)

  17. I’m eating this RIGHT NOW. Okay, except I had to use feta since we didn’t have any chevre on hand. :) It’s really tasty and I can’t wait to have pink pee!

  18. Virginia Griffey says:

    I made this again for Christmas dinner tonight with ciogga beets, and it was even better than I remember! So yummy and so simple.

  19. Dee says:

    Mmm… I looove beets, most times I incorporate them in a potato salad. I have a fresh mint plant… So I would dfinitely try this recipe . Thanks

    • Dee says:

      I tried it! Super delicious and simple. I tried my 25 chews per bite.”mmm. I boiled my beets … It’s only after I do that then I realized I was supposed to roast… Next time…, this recipe is a keeper 5 stars!

  20. Malene says:

    Wonderfull recipe. Made the Beet salad this weekend and my guests loved it. I have translated your recipe til Danish and posted it, together with your pic at my blog, since I want more people to know this combination. I hope thats ok! I have off course linked to your side as the source for the recipe and pic. Regards Malene from Denmark

  21. Jenn says:

    I found this while researching for Christmas dinner. I want to make it but am wondering how early ahead of times can make the dish. Have you ever cooked the beets a day or two prior to serving?

  22. Terri says:

    Loved this recipe! I had fresh red and gold beets and fresh chevre from our Saturday Market, and mint from my yard. We loved this simple salad and the mint added pizzaz! This goes into my recipe box for keeps.

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