Monday, May 13, 2013

japanese spiced roasted beets {food matters project}

When I chose this dish for this week's Food Matters Project I didn't take into account that fact that I might not want my oven on in the middle of May. Luckily, it was cool last night and having the oven on didn't matter.

I love roasted beets. Unfortunately this dish is a bit too spicy for my tastes. I also prefer the beet's smooth texture and with all the ground spices on them they become too grainy.

Ah well, it doesn't hurt to try new things.

Japanese Spiced Roasted Beets
from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
(Makes 4 servings. Takes about 1 hour to prepare)

1 tablespoon  vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
2 pounds beets (4 large ones), peeled and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds (I didn't have these)
1/2 cup sliced scallions
Parsley for garnish (my own idea)

1. Heat oven t 400F. Smear a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with a little of the oil. Put the beets in the pan, drizzle with the 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and the seasame oil, and toss to coat.

2. Roast, undisturbed, for 20 minutes before checking. If the beets release easily from the pan, stir them up a bit or turn them over with tongs. If they look dry and are sticking, drizzle with more oil and toss. Continue roasting, turning every 10 minutes or so, until crisp on the outside and just tender inside, another 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put peppercorns and white sesame seeds in a spice or coffee grinder and pulverize to a coarse powder. Transfer to a small bowl and add orange zest, chili powder, and poppy seeds. When the beets are done, toss them with the spice mixture, a sprinkling of salt and the scallions. Return to the oven for a minute or 2, just long enough to toast the spices. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.


  1. Thanks for picking the recipe. It was a nice nudge to depart from my usual beets + olive oil, salt, and pepper. I will definitely be making this again soon.

  2. Sandra, I loved this dish... One of the first things I decided was to just use 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder. It was spicy enough to give a good kick but not overwhelming. I am glad I didn't use an entire tablespoon, I would have died!

  3. G'day! Unusual recipe indeed, TRUE!
    Love the photo. Thank you!
    What's On The List

  4. Well at least now you know how you DON'T like beets! I'm going to try this method on sweet potatoes since I'm really not a beet fan!

  5. Sandra, great pick! I didn't think it would be good on veggies after tasting it so I added it to hollandaise and it was fantastic!

  6. Glad I wasn't the only one that wasn't a fan of this. Although, your photo turned out way better than mine! Live and learn as you try different dishes, right?