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Gold beets are medium to large and are globular to round with a slightly flattened, irregular shape. The roots are connected to long and crisp, leafy green stems that are edible and have a flavor like spinach. The root's skin is semi-rough, covered in marks, russet, and scratches, and ranges in color from a deep orange to a mixture of gold, brown, and pale yellow. The skin is also firm, with many small hairs covering the surface. The flesh is a bright yellow to gold, dense, and aqueous with pale concentric rings underneath the skin. When raw, gold beets are crunchy, and when cooked, they develop a tender, smooth consistency with a very mild and sweet flavor.
Gold beets can be consumed raw and are popularly shaved, shredded, julienned, or spiralized into salads, slaws, and soups. They can also be pickled for extended use, pureed for sauces, or blended into smoothies. Gold beets can be steamed with lemon juice, roasted for a caramelized consistency, or sliced and baked into thin chips when utilized in cooked preparations. It is important to note that the skin should be removed before eating and is easily peeled once cooked. Gold beets may also be used as a red beet substitute in some recipes. Gold beets pair well with cheeses such as goat, feta, meats such as poultry, fish, apples, fennel, herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, citrus, potatoes, shallots, vinegar, and walnuts.
The roots will keep 2-3 weeks with the leaves removed and stored in the refrigerator's crisper drawer, and up to one week when stored with the tops still attached. The green leaves will only keep 1-2 days once removed from the roots and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets
1 1/2 pounds golden or red beets, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces or wedges
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried herbs, such as oregano and/or rosemary
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice, (optional)