Slow Roasted Beet Wedges

by Susie Middleton compliments of Fine Cooking

Serves four as a side dish.

1 lb. small or medium red and/or gold beets                  

1 TBSP plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp kosher salt                                                         

5 small sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary

Heat the oven to 400.  Measure two 2-foot lengths of aluminum foil and crisscross them on a small rimmed baking sheet.  Slice the tops and bottoms off the beets.  Cut the beets into wedges from top to bottom (small beets may only need to be quartered; cut larger beets in half horizontally first, then cut each half into about 6 wedges).  Each wedge should be about 1 ½ inches at it’s widest point.  Toss the beets well with the olive oil and salt, put them, in one layer, on the cross section of foil on the baking sheet.  Group them snugly but in one layer.  Lay the herb sprigs on top of the beets and close the package tightly by folding each sheet of foil in and sealing it with the others.  The package should be flat and relatively airtight.

Roast the beets for 1 ½ hours.  Remove them from the oven and, avoiding the steam, carefully peal back the foil.  Check to see that the beets are cooked through (a thin knife should slide through without resistance).  Also check that the bottoms of the beets are nicely caramelized (they should be darkened and wrinkled).  If they’re not done, seal the package again and return the beet to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.  Depending on the heat of your oven, the thickness of your baking sheet, and the size of the wedges, they may take a more or less time.

*make ahead tip:  the beets can be made several hours in advance and reheated or served at room temperature.  To reheat, spread the wedges on a baking sheet and heat in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes.