Red beets vary in size, typically averaging 3-7 centimeters in diameter, and have a globular to ovate shape with a small taproot extending from the non-stem end. The firm skin is dark red to purple and is semi-smooth with tiny root hairs, russet, and scrapes covering the surface. Each beet varies in texture and shape depending on growing conditions. Underneath the surface, the flesh is a deep crimson and is dense, aqueous, and crunchy. When cooked, Red beets develop a tender, soft texture with a mildly sweet, earthy flavor. The beet plant also grows leafy stalks that are edible and have a taste similar to swiss chard.
Red beets are popularly consumed raw in salads or are utilized in cooked applications such as roasting, steaming, frying, and boiling. It is important to note that Red beets will bleed a dark red hue when raw or cooked, and this liquid has the potential to stain surfaces and skin.
To store: Keep raw beetroot in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight for 3-4 days. Cooked beetroot should be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To prepare: Carefully twist off the roots, about 3cm from the end, do not cut them off or they will 'bleed' during cooking and loose their distinctive color.
6 beetroots (unpeeled)
3 red onions (medium unpeeled)
4 garlic cloves (unpeeled whole)
4 tablespoons olive oil
50 milliliters vegetable stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 sprig thyme (leaves picked and chopped)
freshly ground black pepper