Beets have always been on my ‘no list’ of vegetables to eat. That is until I started learning how to cook them properly! This is where our MasterClass training has paid off significantly! Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, and Yotam Ottolenghi have truly refined my skills and palate when it comes to cooking and eating a larger variety of vegetables.
Also, in learning about the glycemic index and gaining a better understanding of how our bodies work, I now know that beets and carrots, which are both earthy in flavor, also have a higher and naturally occurring sugar content. They tend to lean to the sweeter side, and do not need excessive spices to mask their flavor. However, a generous portion of salt will help their sweetness be accentuated. Give this recipe a try and I hope that you can enjoy them both as simply as possible, around your table, with those you love.
“Color means flavor!”Chef, Yotam Ottolenghi
As a parent to small children and having to change multiple diapers a day, you get to see what happens to food when it comes out the other side! Yes I know, this is a food blog, so why am I talking about this? Because it happens and its real life. Beets will most certainly change the color of what ends up in a diaper or the commode, and even a puppy pad if you have furry friends. There is nothing to be alarmed about, because eating beets is just like adding a drop of food coloring to whatever comes out of you after you eat them!
I know this from extensive experience. One morning I thought my kidneys had given up…nope, I ate a lot of beets. I thought my dogs both had a UTI, nope, they ate the remainder of our beets, and I thought my daughter had made (extremely stinky) cranberry colored playdoh in her diaper… nope beets once again. So fair warning, the aftermath of color from eating a good healthy portion of beets may seem like you have come to the end… but no, its the beets, so eat away!
Family Table Talk
Here is some fun information about this recipe that can be used to spur on loving and open conversations between family and friends!
What is it?
Beet – is actually the root and, yes, the greens are edible so throw them in your salad!
Carrot – a root, just like the beet, that come in colors such as orange, yellow, black, purple, red, and white.
Feta – originated from Greece, it is a brined curd white cheese from sheep milk, or sheep and goat. It can be infused with things such as herbs and spices.
What about you?
1. What other kind of food do you enjoy with an earthy flavor?
2. What animal do you think would produce a unique and delicious cheese?
3. What other fruit or vegetable comes in at least 5 different colors?
4. How else do you eat beets, carrots, and feta? Which is your favorite?
5. What country would you most like to visit along the Mediterranean Sea and why?
Vibrant Oven Roasted Beets and Carrots with Feta and Thyme
If you can find them, use multi colored carrots as they just add to the vibrancy of this recipe. A variety of color is always fun, and in our experience, it helps children explore food more confidently!
6–8 beets, roots and stems cut off
4 large carrots, bias cut
4 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil, divided
1 tsp of sea salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, freshly ground and divided
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
a generous portion of salt for serving and a spritz of lemon
- Preheat your oven to 400F degrees. Cut off the tops (stems) and the bottoms (roots) of your beets, then cut them in half. You will remove the skin of the beets after they have been roasted in the oven. It is far easier! In a small bowl toss the beets in half the oil, salt and pepper. Then wrap and tent them in aluminum foil. Try NOT to leave a vent, because you want them to cook from the steam.
- Next cut the tops and bottoms off of the carrots and then bias cut (angled slices) the carrots. Toss the carrots in the remaining oil, salt and pepper. Wrap and tent them in aluminum foil the same as the beets. However, you want to keep them separate as the beets will stain which you do not want until the very end.
- Place the wrapped beets and carrots, seam side up, on a baking sheet and roast them at 400F degrees for roughly 60 minutes depending on their size. They need to be fork tender.
- Once the carrots and beets are done roasting, take the beets and rub off the skin with a paper towel. They will just slide right off. If you desire to keep them on go for it, there will just be a hint of an earthy taste just like carrots have, no issue at all!
- Toss the beets and carrots together. Then sprinkle on the thyme and feta. Serve with another generous pinch of salt and a spritz of lemon.
Remember that beets stain everything whether they have been cooked or not. Best thing to do is cut them on top of parchment paper and use gloves when handling them as to not stain your cutting board, counter, or fingers!