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how to cook beets.

I will try not to flood the blog with posts about beets but it is so hard.  I love this time of year when golden and striped beets are in season.  I almost titled this post "Beets: A Love Story" but refrained!  Regular red beets and I aren't as good of friends because the threat of staining everything is not for me.  I've talked so much about the beet greens, now it is time for the actual beets.  There are many ways you can cook them and I recently saw a recipe by Sweet Paul for a roasted veggie salad with wedges of beets (can't wait to try it).  

My favorite is a tried and true - great for cooking beets for salads as they are perfect either quartered or mandolined into thin sheets....  Recipe to come for the latter!  Since this method uses no oil, salt or pepper, the true flavor of the beet shines!  
You need:
beets (duh)
paper towels 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap beets in foil and seal tightly.  Place beets in oven.  The cooking times vary based on 1) your oven and 2) the size of beets.  Out of the beets pictured, the smaller ones cooked for 45 minutes each while the largest one was in the oven for an hour.  I test mine wearing an oven mitt - if they are fairly soft, remove and cool in foil.
Once they are cooled, remove foil and using a paper towel, gently rub off skin.  If they are done, the skin will come off easily.  If they aren't, you will have to rub a lot more.  The timing element just takes practice!  
favorite beet salad.
avocado, diced
beets, cooked, peeled and quartered
dried cranberries
feta or goat cheese, crumbled
red wine vinaigrette
baby field greens

Assemble and toss with vinaigrette. 

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