When we were in Charleston, we spent some time with an old and dear friend of Jon's, as well as his wife Jen and their little guy Ben. Mark cooked us dinner one night of grilled salmon with pineapple salsa and beets he had roasted on a bed of kosher salt. And while everything tasted seriously delicious, I could not get over how tasty these beets were.
I needed to take the idea back home with me, and it only took a couple of weeks before we needed to have them again. I essentially winged the recipe and process, and guess what: they came out perfect.
Suffice it to say I will never roast beets any other way, whether making them for a side, for a salad, for anything. They are flavorful, perfectly seasoned throughout, almost meaty in texture, and the best part: you can eat the skin if you'd like (and it might just be the best part, in my opinion). And the other best part is that they're so easy.
Serves 5-6 people as a side
12-15 red and gold beets, skin on, washed and scrubbed clean and cut off at the stem
1 cup kosher salt
3 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread salt in an even layer on the bottom of a large baking dish. Arrange the beets on top of the salt. Drizzle each beet with a bit of olive oil. Cover dish with foil. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven, and pull back foil (be careful of hot steam!). Serve whole or sliced in half, sprinkled with extra salt from the bottom of the baking dish. You can eat with skin on or discard; it's up to you.