I always associate beets with the Borscht Soup that my Oma used to make in the fall and winter months. At the time, I don't recall being all that enamored with either the soup, or beets. But now I love them both. We have found that beets are not a vegetable that generates a mild response. Whenever we plan to serve them, we like to first test out the waters to see if our guests are beet-friend or -foe. Beets have a strong earthy flavor that needs some assistance. In their unvarnished form, they are a dusty and lumpy root vegetable, with little to commend by their exterior. But peel a beet and you will find a vibrant, sweet and minerally vegetable, happy to lend color and flavor to drab dishes. Beets and their greens are chock full of vitamins, among them A, B1, B2, B6 and C and are high in calcium, iron and magnesium. Beets respond well to many cooking applications and are delicious in everything from hummus to pickles to juice. I first made these roasted beet chips when I was hankering for some root chips (those incredibly overpriced bags of beet and sweet potato chips at the grocery). It occurred to me that I could make them on my own and instead of deep frying, I thought I’d give beet chips in the oven a go. While Paul was skeptical of my oven technique, it worked beautifully and he sneakily polished off the first batch before our guests arrived!
Yield: Serves 1-2 as a snack
- 3 medium sized beets, washed, unpeeled, ends trimmed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or flake salt
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, cut the beets into the thinnest slices you can. Note, I would suggest using a plastic versus wood cutting board as the beet stains can be challenging to get out of wood. Additionally, if you get annoyed by beet stains on your hands, plastic/latex gloves are very handy.
- Toss the beet slices with olive oil and salt.
- Spread parchment or silicon mats on two large baking sheets. Spread beets on the baking sheets and intersperse with rosemary. Note, depending on the size of your beets you may need to make more than one round.
- Bake for 20-40 minutes (I know this is a very wide range, but you will need to keep a look out, depending on the size and density of your beets, the cook time will vary significantly. The beets will be done when they have changed color, become less of vibrant and bright, they should appear quite dry. Feel free to taste the chips along the way to test for the texture you prefer.
- Remove the pans from the oven. Add additional salt or flavoring to your preference and eat immediately.