i’ve almost burned two churches to the ground…

slightly burned

I used to never make beets because the first time went so poorly. Sure, I blamed it on how messy they are and that they make your hands red, but when you get right down to it, it’s because the first time I made them I almost burned an entire church down.


Alex used to work at a church and, on occasion, I would go to work with him and cook dinner in the large church kitchen. Alex’s Mom told me to roast the beets by drizzling the beets with olive oil and wrapping them in foil. I did just that and then popped them into the oven at 400 degrees. I then proceeded to walk away from them. I completely forgot about them. I mean COMPLETELY.


That Sunday, Alex and I arrived at church and I was immediately reminded about the beets. Apparently the secretary had come in the morning after I set them in the oven and found tons of smoke filling the area with the kitchen. That’s right, I roasted beets, overnight, at a high temperature. Needless to say, the church people weren’t thrilled and I stayed out of their kitchen for a long time after that. Alex still likes to remind me of this giant faux pas any time I even mention cooking beets.


The problem is, Alex really likes beets, so I had to get over my fear at some point. These are easy, and although they are roasted, I promise I didn’t almost burn anything down this time.

(By the way, the other church I almost burned down was in Vermont and that story involves a prayer candle, a long stick to light it with, and me dropping the lit stick on the carpet.)

citrus beets
printer-friendly version
makes 6 servings

3 large beets
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the beets. Cut them into bite size pieces roughly the same size so that they’ll cook evenly. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the beets and toss until they’re evenly coated. Spread them onto a lined baking sheet, making sure not to dump the excess liquid on with them, and roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.


About Jessica

New Yorker, coffee addict, cook, blogger, baker of delicious things.
This entry was posted in meatless monday, side dish, vegan and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to i’ve almost burned two churches to the ground…

  1. Wow, you and beets have been through a lot! I like the citrus-y twist to this recipe–they’d be a great addition to a nice winter salad.

  2. Joan says:

    I remember the St. Matthew’s incident well. Alex won’t like this idea, but these beets would pair well with stilton or bleu cheese.

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