If you're trying to make the most of beet season this autumn, you're all too familiar with the red stain that tends to come with cooking the root vegetable. The colorful juice from beets can mar your hands, your knife, your cutting board, and even your counters, and the bothersome mess can make the process of cooking beets feel more tedious than it's worth. But did you know there's a way to hold the beet bloodbath at bay? Cooking your beets in a salt crust when roasting can add a delicious salty bite without the hassle.
A salt crust is a cooking method that goes all the way back to ancient Rome and Greece and involves creating a thick salt casing around whatever you're cooking. With beets, the salt crust absorbs extra moisture during cooking, keeping the mess inside while bringing out the natural flavor of the veggie.
How To Salt Crust Your Beets
When salt-crusting your beets, you need a pound of kosher salt for every pound of beets you're cooking. You don't have to worry about peeling your beets before roasting as the skin helps your dish from becoming overly dry. To create your salt crust, you'll combine a couple of egg whites with your salt. Once you reach a paste-like consistency that you can shape with your hands, you'll know the salt crust is ready. You may need to add additional egg whites to reach this texture.
Line your baking sheet with foil and begin to coat your beets in the salt crust. You'll form the outer salt shell by shaping the paste around your washed beets to about half an inch thick. You'll shape the salt crust around your beets similar to how you'd make a snowball. Once your beets are adequately coated, roast them for about an hour at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, or until your salt crust has begun to turn brown. That's when you know your beets are fully cooked and ready to eat. You can enjoy these beets plain or use them in a beet and goat cheese salad. However you enjoy your beets, it'll be extra enjoyable knowing the mess you prevented by cooking this way.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.