marinated beets with horseradish

by Stacy

A few years ago my friend Angela and I decided that we wanted to try new vegetables. Now we both have CSA shares and our veggie consumption is much more well-rounded, but we had to start somewhere. We tried turnips, parsnips, and kale. I’m pretty sure there were others, too, but we started in the late fall and were limited in our choices.

During that experiment, we never tried beets. Beets are scary. They’re messy and they stain. My mom tried to feed us pickled beets as kids (EDIT: My mother states that she tried to feed us diced cooked beets, not pickled. She did try to feed us other gross stuff, though.). They’re weird.

We get a lot of beets from our CSA. My husband did agree to try everything we got, but he didn’t have to like everything. He tried beets. He didn’t like them. So we still have a lot of beets.

roasted beets

And it’s up to me to eat them.

I’m trying. If you search for beet recipes you’ll get thousands of people insisting that you have to roast them, roasted is the only way! At this point I have a few ways to eat beets, either raw or roasted. Here is one of them.

This recipe comes via the LA Times and is based on a dish from Pizzeria Mozza. I had to adapt it a bit to use ingredients I had on hand. The dish comes together quickly once the beets are roasted and cooled, so if you roast your beets in bulk and put them in the fridge for later, you’ll have a quick side dish.

Toss your beets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme (ideally fresh, but I only had dried). The recipe says to place the beets in a roasting pan then cover the pan with foil. I just wrapped my beets tightly in foil and roasted them in my toaster oven. Once the beets are cooked through, let them cool, then peel them. Dice the beets into cubes about 1/2″ on a side.

diced roasted beets

The diced beets are then tossed with apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and horseradish (again, fresh is preferred, but I had no car and a jar in the fridge. Sold!). Seasoned with salt and pepper, you now have a bright, intense side dish or salad.

marinated beets

The earthiness of the beets, which I sometimes find too strong, is balanced by the dressing with its acidic and zesty flavor. All I had was prepared horseradish, so I think that fresh would impart a nicer kick. That said, even what I had turned out pretty darn well.

My only complaint about beets is their bright juice. It’s water soluble so as long as I wash my hands right away I’ve never had staining issues, but I always feel like I savagely murdered a Barbie doll afterward.

the aftermath

Marinated Beets with Horseradish

Adapted from Pizzeria Mozza via the LA Times
Yields about 4 cups; serves 6-8

2 pounds beets
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated or pureed horseradish
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1.) Preheat oven to 400F. Toss beets with olive oil, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place beets in a roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast about 1 hour until beets are easily pierced with a knife. Let cool.

2.) Once cool, peel beets and dice into 1/2″ cubes. Place diced beets in a bowl and add vinegar, horseradish, and mustard. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

marinated beets

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Bridget March 7, 2010 at 10:22 am

I’ve only had canned beats – I hated them as a kid, and I tried them as an open-minded adult a year ago, and still thought they were blech. I have got to try roasting them, but first I have to get over my lifelong beetphobia.


stacy March 7, 2010 at 12:11 pm

To be fair, this is the first time I’ve really liked roasted beets. I’ve made a salad of sliced roasted beets and goat cheese, but smothered in that amount of goat cheese, I would eat a lot of things. It’s a very psychological resistance, too!

A friend linked me to a raw beet and carrot salad that I actually enjoyed and will post soon since I carrots again. Ironically, I’m not a big fan of carrots, either.


Angela March 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I’m all about that beet and carrot salad. I didn’t care for beets at all (even with my open mind and willingness to keep trying) until I had the salad. Om nom nom.


WhiteStone March 7, 2010 at 10:58 am

I love beets but it is difficult to find them in oo small town grocery store. Still…spring is coming and I will be planting a few in the garden. And I will try this recipe! Thanks!


stacy March 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Huh. I’ve never looked for beets at the store, I’ve only gotten them from my CSA or seen them at farmers markets.
Good luck with the garden! And if your beets do well, save the greens, too. Yum.


tater1112 March 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

I like to just boil them and then put chunks in a regular old salad, too.

And, there’s some strange part of me that always hopes the police will ring my doorbell on a day I’ve been cooking beets and cranberries.


stacy March 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Maybe I should try boiling them. I have a good stash to use.



mom March 7, 2010 at 11:34 am

I NEVER fed you pickled beets as a child! I have never even eaten any myself. I cooked you real beets and diced them. I was the only one in the family who liked them.


stacy March 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Hmm. Fair. I only remember beets vaguely from when we lived in the town house, so it was a long time ago. I will amend the post.

It still doesn’t make up for the nasty spinach souffle, though. That stuff is gross.


the inadvertent farmer March 10, 2010 at 9:01 am

The savagely murdered Barbie doll will have me giggling the rest of the day!

I love beet greens and have yet to find a way except pickled that I like the roots. I may have to give this a try…great post! Kim


Birch March 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

Noodles, pan-fried beets, turnip, and green onions, mix together with an egg, top with moz. cheese.

Pink noodles, om nom nommmy, no murdered Barbie plates.


katya March 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

Borch! It’s beet soup, you can make yours veggie of course, but it’s a delicious soup, and it’s very pretty that color :)… you can add sour cream to it and it turns pink (a la killed Barbie in a bathtub). Anyway… it’s another idea for you if you still have many beets.


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