Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just roasted some beets in the oven (as usual) but they turned out really bitter. Any idea why or what can I do to save them?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

Roasting caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables and, eventually, burns them. Roasted anything that turns out bitter is almost always the symptom of overcooking. Sometimes it also means that your ingredients were spoiled or "off" in the first place.

As for saving them - there's not much you can do in either case, other than trying to mask it with some other flavours. Beetroot pairs well with cranberry and other tart fruits, which would probably mask the bitter taste; cream, sweetened yogurt or sour cream would also be a good bet. Otherwise, I can't really think of anything else to do with them; overcooked food usually ends up in the trash for me.

share|improve this answer
    
great information here –  zanlok Jan 19 '11 at 21:27
add comment

Salt is quite effective at neutralizing bitter flavors, which is why some folks experiment with using low levels of it in coffee. For beets, go ahead and salt them a bit more aggressively than you normally would and see if that salvages the flavor for you. Here are a couple of references:

http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/salt-trumps-bitter/

http://blog.khymos.org/2006/10/01/suppresion-of-bitterness/

share|improve this answer
add comment

I vote for pureeing them and using them for soup. Borscht is delish and a dollop of sour cream will go a long way towards covering the bitterness. better still, caramalize an onion in a frying pan to add for extra sweetness.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.