Recipes for Roasted Beet Hummus; Spicy Roasted Golden Beets; Beet and Carrot Soup; and Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Almonds.

Share story

Don’t listen to the naysayers. It is perfectly possible for someone who does not like beets to go on and lead a productive life, probably.

Beets are a paradox. They are earthy, almost foresty. But they have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, so they are also sweet. It is this unusual combination of flavors that makes them so versatile.

You can purée them into soup, either hot or cold. You can serve them roasted or you can put them into salads. You can even turn them into a dip.

ROASTED BEET HUMMUS

Makes 8 servings

1 pound (about 3 medium) beets, trimmed and cleaned

½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wrap the beets together in aluminum foil, making sure to seal the foil completely (if the beets vary dramatically in size, wrap them individually so you can take them out of the oven one by one as they finish cooking).

3. Place the packet of beets on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan, and roast until the beets are tender and a paring knife pierces the center without resistance, 45 minutes to 1 hour, or up to 1 ½ hours for extra-large beets. Let the beets cool to the touch.

4. When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins with a paper towel (it may help to use a paring knife to peel them back).

5. Cut each beet into quarters and place them in a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the salt, lemon juice and tahini and blend on high speed until smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula and adjust the salt to taste. Add the olive oil and blend again to combine. The hummus will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five 5 days.

— Recipe from “The Vegetable Butcher” by Cara Mangini

SPICY ROASTED GOLDEN BEETS

Makes 4 servings

2 bunches of medium golden beets, trimmed and quartered

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

Pinch chili powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss beets with oil, spices and salt. Transfer to a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm.

— Recipe by Sonnet Lauberth, insonnetskitchen.com

BEET AND CARROT SOUP

Makes 6 servings

2 beets, trimmed and scrubbed

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

Salt and pepper

3 ½ cups peeled and chopped carrots

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 medium leek, chopped (white and light green parts)

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 cups vegetable broth

2 sprigs thyme

Feta cheese, crumbled

Cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub the beets with a little olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with a thin knife, 45 minutes to one hour. Open the foil and let rest until cool enough to handle.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook until soft and light golden brown, seven to nine minutes.

3. Add the onions and leeks, cover and sweat until they are translucent, three to five minutes more. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the broth and thyme.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes. Remove the thyme.

5. Peel and coarsely chop the beets. Stir them into the soup. Working in batches if necessary, transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Or blend in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth.

6. Serve hot or cold, garnished with crumbled feta and a sprinkling of cilantro.

— Adapted from a recipe from “Vegetarian Cooking,” by the Culinary Institute of America

ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH ORANGES AND ALMONDS

Makes 4 servings

2 pounds beets, trimmed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

1 orange, Cara Cara or navel

2 ounces (2 cups) baby arugula

2 ounces ricotta salata or goat cheese

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and place on rimmed baking sheet. Roast beets until skewer inserted into center meets little resistance (you will need to unwrap beets to test them), 45 to 60 minutes.

2. Remove beets from oven and carefully open foil packets. When beets are cool enough to handle, carefully rub off skins using paper towel. Slice beets into bite-sized pieces.

3. Whisk together oil, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add beets, toss to coat, and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

4. Cut away peel and pith from orange and cut fruit into bite-sized pieces. Add arugula and orange pieces to the beets and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with cheese and almonds.

— Recipe from “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen