The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
~~ Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
I am not certain whether beets are misunderstood, genuinely offensive, or trendy. I do know I love them! Orange Miso Glazed Beets and Carrots is my latest attempt at encouraging my readers to eat more beets. 🙂 Growing up, my experience with beets was limited; beets came from a can. My mother was a fantastic cook, and we didn’t use many processed foods during an era that brought the explosion of processed foods at the supermarket. However, we did have canned beets and canned spinach… Yuck. 😡
It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I became a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and started regularly receiving beets in my box, that I began to appreciate the versatility and flavor of this wonderful vegetable. Beets are “good for you,” but they’re also loaded with earthy flavor, and work well in preparations that run the gamut from salads featuring paper thin, raw sliced beets, to roasted and glazed beets, to classic Ukrainian borscht. If you’ve not experienced fresh beets, you certainly must give them a try!
My favorite way to purchase beets is a “rainbow” bunch. Visual appeal is a big part of enjoying food, and I find that lots of color on the plate makes the dish taste even better. 😀 The last 2 bunches I’ve purchased have included the most common red, golden, chioggia (candy cane), and white or albino beets. Rainbow carrots pair beautifully with the beets, and roast in about the same amount of time. You may wish to include some combination of beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnips (baby Japanese turnips with their greens are phenomenal in this recipe!)… Whatever combination you choose to roast, the pieces should be of a similar size so that they’re all tender but not overcooked.
I cut the tip and the stem ends off of my beets, then depending on size, cut them into 6 to 8 wedges per beet. Young carrots (such as those picture here) are fine whole. Larger carrots should be cut in half lengthwise. When all of the vegetables are prepped, place them in a bowl, and drizzle them generously with olive oil. Add several grinds of pepper and sea salt, and give it all a good toss. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. After 30 minutes (24 convection), stir them to flip the cooking edges, then brush them generously with the orange miso glaze. Repeat this process until the vegetables are tender and caramelized. Depending on the size of the pieces and your appliance, this process may take an hour plus or minus (20% less with convection).
I have included the greens in this recipe (they’re delicious!), but frequently they’ve been removed or have succumbed to soft rot. By all means, cook them if they’re in decent condition; I use kitchen shears to cut away any bad spots, and swish them in a big bowl of water while the roots are roasting. Drain them well, then coarsely chop. Sauté the chopped greens in a bit of coconut and/or sesame oils just prior to serving. Add to the root vegetables, drizzle with any remaining glaze, then garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
What sorts of dishes do I serve with Orange Miso Glazed Beets and Carrots? The flavor profile is Japanese (with a twist). It pairs well with seared ahi tuna, miso marinated grilled chicken, salmon, even miso glazed grilled tempeh for a vegetarian option. I have actually doubled the glaze mixture, and used half of it as a marinade for chicken and as a glaze for seared ahi tuna. Way to “kill two birds with one stone!” 😆
Lastly, I enjoy recommending a suitable wine or craft beer for my recipes. We liked this dish with a viognier (our favorite is Lawrence Dunham Vineyards); its bone dry stone fruit and mineral finish pairs well with the tangy umami flavors of the dish. You might also enjoy a dry riesling or pinot grigio. If you prefer a red wine, pinot noir is a good option. Craft beer lovers might enjoy this with the complex flavors of a Belgian (my personal favorite beer style). Whatever your drink of choice, I do hope you’ll buy a beautiful bunch of beets and give this recipe a whirl!
20 minPrep Time
60 minCook Time
1 hr, 20 Total Time
- 1 bunch beets with greens (about 2 pounds)*
- 1 to 2 pounds carrots (I love rainbow)*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- sesame seeds to garnish
- zest and juice of 1 small orange or tangerine*
- 1 tablespoon tamari*
- 2 tablespoons miso paste*
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1/4 cup mirin
- * See Notes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 convection).
Toss the prepared root vegetables with a generous drizzle of olive oil, and a few grinds of sea salt and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast the vegetables 30 minutes (24 minutes convection). While the vegetables roast, whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze.
After 30 minutes (24 minutes convection), give them a stir, then brush generously with the glaze. Return the pan to the oven for an additional 10 minutes (8 minutes convection). Repeat the previous step until the vegetables are tender.
While the vegetables roast, prepare the greens. Clip away any bad spots and the stems. Swish them around in a large bowl of water. Drain them, then coarsely chop them.
When the vegetables are nearly cooked, stir-fry the greens in the coconut and sesame oils until wilted.
Toss the wilted greens with the roasted vegetables, pour remaining glaze over top, then toss well to combine. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.
You will want a combined total of about 3 to 4 pounds of root vegetables. Leftovers are good! If using red beets, you may wish to toss them with olive oil separately to avoid their "bleeding" all over the lighter colored vegetables. As I mention in the post, a variety of color is so appealing! Choose whatever looks fresh and delicious.
Be creative with you citrus choice as well. Most will work well with the miso.
Tamari is similar to soy sauce, but is little or no wheat. If following a gluten-free diet, be sure to check the label. It is a byproduct of miso paste and has a more complex flavor. Feel free to substitute soy sauce.
I prefer shiro miso (lighter and mellower flavor) to darker misos. Yellow miso will work as well. The darker misos are pretty strong, and the darker color may affect the look of the dish.
Mirin is sweet rice wine. You can substitute a teaspoon of honey and a 1/4 cup of rice or white wine.
The Asian/Japanese flavor profile of this dish pairs well with similarly flavored grilled fish, meats, tempeh, etc. Try doubling the glaze recipe and using half of it as a marinade. Of course, you'll want to get the marinade started sooner rather than later.
Do you have a “beet story” to tell? I know people that have traveled and were dismayed to find “beetroot” on a burger. 🙂 If you don’t like them, were they fresh? I would love your thoughts!