Foil-Roasted Beets and Vidalia Onions With Butter, Lime and Sea Salt 4.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

One Pan Jul 26, 2018

A little salt and sugar, a pair of vegetables whose sweetness is easily coaxed, and butter: That’s all you need to roast the easiest unexpected side dish of summer. The combination works in the oven or in the embers of a grill, because this is packet cooking, pure and simple.

The foil packets can also be roasted directly on the coals in a grill, which can take up to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the strength of the heat.

Serve over couscous or alongside grilled meats.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large beets, trimmed and scrubbed well (a mix of red, golden and/or chioggia beets is nice)
  • 4 Vidalia or other sweet onions
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together the salt and sugar in a small bowl. Cut sixteen 8-inch squares of aluminum foil, then use them to create eight sets of two-ply foil squares.

Place 1 beet on each of 4 squares; same with the onions. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the salt-sugar mixture. Top with a few mint leaves, if desired.

Wrap each into a tightly sealed packet, placing them all on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast (middle rack) for about 1 hour.

Carefully open each packet, avoiding a rush of steam. The vegetables should be tender with some caramelized edges. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board; cut the beets into halves or quarters and the onions into bite-size pieces. (If you would like more edges to be caramelized or look a bit charred, place the vegetables directly on the baking sheet and roast (425 degrees) for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm, with pan juices, a squeeze of juice from the lime wedges and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen,” by Eddie Hernandez and Susan Puckett (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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