Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Side Dishes

Orange-Glazed Beets

how to cook beets

A citrus glaze is a great way to enhance the natural flavor of beets. This is a great way to use beets when they’re plentiful at the farm market or from your home garden. They’re great in the winter, too. Serve this simple preparation warm or at room temperature. 

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 6 medium beets (or any size, as long as it adds up to about 2 pounds),
    red or golden, or half of each
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot or organic cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, or 1 whole head
    shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Grated orange zest for garnish, optional
  • Chopped fresh dill, cilantro, or other herb for garnish

To microwave the beets: Leave on an inch of the beets’ stalks, and place in a deep casserole dish with about 2 inches of water. Cover and microwave for 12 minutes. Check the beets (they should be easily pierced with a knife, but still firm), and if necessary, microwave them a bit longer.

To cook the beets: Rinse the beets and cut away all but an inch of the stalks. Combine in a large deep saucepan with water to cover; bring to a boil, then simmer until just tender. How long this will take varies greatly upon the size of the beets; start checking after about 20 minutes, but don’t poke too many test holes into them, or they’ll bleed like crazy! When done, drain.

No matter which cooking method you use, let the beets cool (you can plunge them into a bowl of cold water to speed things up), and when cool enough to handle, peel and finely dice them.

Combine the cornstarch and vinegar in a small container and stir until dissolved. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion or shallot and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until both are golden.

Add the orange juice to the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch and vinegar mixture, stirring carefully to avoid lumps.

Stir in the diced beets. Cook over very low heat until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with a sprinkling of dill or other fresh herb. Serve at once or cool until just warm.


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  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Is there a non-microwaved version of this recipe? I am pregnant and have an issue with microwaving my food.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Nikki, I’ve added a paragraph with conventional cooking instructions. Good idea on your part; have a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Agh, yes. The blustery SF sumemr actually drove me to Marin a couple years ago in search of long, sunny days and the sound of crickets at night. I’m in Ireland right now very cold, rainy and windy. In comparison, SF is actually pretty balmy and mild. Love this recipe, and your inventive description of it. Thankfully, you don’t have to travel far at all for a true taste of sumemr!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I just made these but I used orange juice concentrate with water. I forgot to test the beets for done ness in the microwave so I ended up using a knife to peel the skins & then sliced them while wearing rubber gloves. My husband likes them & so did I ,maybe I’ll try this recipe to use up an abundant supply of pickled beets.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    My Mum showed me that you pinch the skin of the beets and when it comes of–they are ready!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I am making these to bring to dinner tomorrow. What would be the best way to lightly reheat before serving?

    • Reply
      December 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Aimee, since you’ll be making this in a saucepan, just keep this in it and let it cool. Refrigerate it overnight. Reheat it in the same saucepan over medium-low heat just before serving. If the glaze gets too thick, just add a little water to loosen it. Then transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!

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