Roasted Beets in Ginger Syrup

Love'em, or hate'em, there is no in between. Beets are in my top favorite 5 vegetables, and I have not posted one recipe that I can find. Amazing! The beets are beautiful this year. I've already made my pickled beets, and yes frozen some also.

Roasting, in my opinion, is a great way to cook beets, because it intensifies their natural sweetness. Roasted Beets in Ginger Syrup is my new favorite way to eat them. I'll give you my old favorite way below. You can heat the beets in the syrup and serve them as a side dish, or chill them and use them in salads. They can be roasted a day in advance then heat them in a skillet with butter and seasonings just before serving (my old favorite way).

6-8 servings
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8 medium to large beets
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
4-5 grinds of black pepper

Ginger Syrup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thickly
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I've roasted them as high as 400 degrees.

Carefully wash the beets. If they still have their tops attached, remove and trim to approximately 1/2 inch above the beetroot. Place the beets in a casserole or baking pan that will comfortable hold them. A little crowding is okay. Drizzle the oil over the beets, and sprinkle with pepper. Cover with a layer of parchment paper followed by a double thickness of foil, and seal tightly. Place in the middle of the preheated oven, and bake for approximately 1 hour, until the beets are tender when gently pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool still covered.

When partially cooled but warm, peel the beets by gently rubbing them with paper toweling. The skins should slip off easily and without staining your hands. Trim as needed. If beets are small, you may wish to leave them whole; otherwise, slice into rounds or wedges, and set aside while you prepare the ginger syrup.

In a nonreactive saucepan, stir together all the sauce ingredients. Cook at a simmer for about 20 minutes, until of a syrypy consistency. Remove from the heat, and cool. Strain the syrup and discard the solids.

Marinate the beets in the syrup, preferably a couple of hours or longer before servings. They may be served cold as a garnish for salads, or heated in their syrup and served as a side dish.

Now, my old favorite - Hot Buttered Roasted Beets

Makes enough to serve 4-6

8 small or medium-sized beets
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Prepare, bake, and peel as in the preceding recipe. If the beets are small, leave them whole; if larger, halve or quarter as needed.

When ready to serve, heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet until hot and foaming. Add the beets, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until heated through. Sprinkle with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve hot.

If you are freezing beets, simply roast and peel as above, cool, store in freezer containers or freezer bags and freeze. Add your seasoning and butter when ready to prepare and eat.