Tapas-Style Beets

Preparation time: 15 min Cooking time: 45 min Serves: 4


I didn't want the title to give it away, but these beets go heavy on garlic, lemon, and parsley. This recipe plays up the sweetness and heartiness of beets, but plays down the earthy, I'm-sucking-on-rusty-nails qualities. I finally found a way that I like


  • red / golden / chioggia beets, however many you’ve got (6?)
  • 2 - 3 cloves of garlic for each beet
  • 1 small lemon, for fresh zest and juice
  • olive oil (or grapeseed oil; be liberal with it; don’t need your best EVOO)
  • fresh parsley (or experiement with other fresh herbs; dill, cilantro…?)
  • salt and pepper (freshly ground, if you have it)


Preheat oven to 450F (230C)

Run one or two cloves of garlic through garlic press and toss into mixing bowl, cover with plenty of olive oil, the lemon zest, only 1/2 of the lemon juice, and plenty of salt and pepper, almost a T of each.

It’s actually really easy to peel beets without boiling them first; just do like you would potatoes. Remember, these are beets and they stain everything magenta! I kept a bath of hot soapy water in the sink for quick cleaning and used it often! Small dice the beets (cut fat french fries, then cut crosswise) and toss in mixing bowl, coating thoroughly. Pour evenly into bottom of adequately sized ovenproof glass dish. To prevent the beets from drying out or the sugars therein from burning, tent with foil (not completely covered) and put in the oven for, meh, 45 minutes… or until everything is cooked and your kitchen smells fabulous.

In the meantime, coarsely chop parsley or whatever fresh herbs you’ve got, about a fistful or so. Then set to work mincing garlic. If you’ve never done this, it can be tedious; I use two knives (chef+paring) to avoid touching sticky garlic with my fingers. Use paring knife to do initial, organized fine mincing, then run chef knife through it like crazy, scraping stubborn garlic off blade with back of paring knife.

When beets are done, toss them back into mixing bowl with parsley, garlic (it will turn magenta), rest of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste; serve hot or chill overnight. It’s amazing!… feeds four-ish.

NOTE: If you don’t have lemon, substitute a bit of vinegar. You need some acidity to preserve the beet color (unless you don’t care! :P)


Healthy  · Starter  · Side  · Garlic  · Vegan  · Tapas

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