A simple recipe and a good way to soften the rougher edge of a flavorful root. Cheap too, and in a weeknight or other hurried pinch you could substitute canned whole (but not sliced; too sodden) beets for the admittedly far superior fresh variety. For four.
- 3 beets about the size of baseballs or their equivalent
- a drizzle of walnut, olive or other oil
- 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
- salt & pepper
- 1½ teaspoons flour (Preferably Wondra)
- ½ cup milk
- generous Tablespoon chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 400°
- Cut the roots and stems from the beets and scrub them.
- Put the beets on a sheet of aluminum foil big enough to enclose them and drizzle them with the oil, then fold and crimp the foil over the beets.
- Roast the beets until fork tender: Depending on their size and age, it should take from about 25 minutes up to an hour.
- Let the beets cool, peel them (the skins should slip right off) and cut them into ¾ inch chunks.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, toss the beets in the butter and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Season the beets with salt and pepper and cook them, shaking the pan from time to time, for about 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the beets and gently stir them until the flour loses its raw color, then add the milk.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens to whatever consistency you like.
- Toss the parsley into the skillet, stir it up and serve the beets.
-We have given readers more leeway with the consistency of the sauce than Boulestin allows, and he probably is right: “The sauce should be a short,” or napping rather than liquid, “one and well seasoned” so do not skimp on the salt and pepper. A little cayenne would do no harm.