Beets sous vide

August 2, 2017 Published by Dina

On my last trip to the local farm stands a few blocks behind where we live I picked a whole bunch of beautiful new and local produce. Small new potatoes, plump green onions, field cucumbers and these small sweet bunches of red and yellow beets. Normally I would roast them but I recently bought a new gadget for the kitchen, a sous vide immersion circulator, and decided to cook the beets sous vide.

If the sous vide revolution past you by, here is a little information about it. Sous vide is a French term meaning “under vacuum”. What it means in the kitchen is cooking food sealed in food grade plastic bags in a circulating water bath that maintains a precise temperature for the entire cooking process. It’s not a fast cook, but it is precise.

Restaurants have been using sous vide machines for decades after a French chef enlisted a scientist in 1974 to develop a method for precision cooking at his restaurants. Before that sous vide machines were used in industries and scientific labs where precision temperatures were needed.

Recently the sous vide made the leap from commercial kitchens to home use and a few products were developed that are convenient and safe to use at home.


Beets sous vide

To give it a try I decided to buy an immersion sous vide circulator rather than the larger appliance since space is always tight in my over-full kitchen and pantry. I decided to buy the Anova brand and see what sous vide cooking is all about. The Anova comes with a phone app and I can control the cooking from my phone.

My first impression of the sous vide was that it is primarily intended for meat, fish and seafood but I read that it cooks vegetables quite well and this is what made me curious. It kind of makes sense that if you seal the food as it cooks you wouldn’t lose any flavour or nutrients to the cooking water.

Together with the sous vide I bought a sealer and food-grade bags to cook the food in. After a couple of trials I managed to get set up and ready to cook.

The first thing I tried was beets and I must say they turned out quite special. The beets had perfect texture and the flavour was much like what you get when roasting beets: sweet, deep concentrated flavour that you would never get from boiling them.

I am going to keep experimenting with this gadget and will let you know how I do. So far so good.

I cooked the beets in two separate bags, one for the red, one for the golden beets, and made them into two separate salads so the colours don’t run. Served with goat cheese or gorgonzola and a few candied nuts scattered on top it made a delicious and colourful salad.

If you don’t have a sous vide of course you can roast the beets with equally good results.


Beets sous vide


1 lb small beets, red, golden or both
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 tablespoon white balsamic for golden beets or regular balsamic for dark beets
Grated lemon or orange zest


Goat cheese or gorgonzola
1 cup walnuts + 1 tablespoon sugar


The juices from the cooked beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
salt and pepper


Trim the beets, peel and place in a sous vide grade bag. If you don’t use sous vide then roast the beets wrapped in foil in 400ºF until tender.

Add the oils, agave, balsamic and zest and seal the bag making sure the beets are arranged in one layer.

Heat the sous vide to 185ºF and when the water reaches the temperature add the sealed bag with beets making sure it is completely submerged.

Cook for 1.5 hour.

When done remove and cool to room temperature.


When ready, slice the beets into wedges and place in a bowl together with the liquids in the bag.

To serve arrange greens on salad plates, top with beets and drizzle with some of the cooking liquids.

Add remaining olive and walnut oils, salt and pepper.

Crumble some cheese and scatter candied nuts over.

Serve immediately.

The beets can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days in the cooking bag or covered in another container with the accumulated liquids.