Crispy Smashed Beets With Garlic, Scallions, and Chile
trimmed small to medium beets, scrubbed well
garlic cloves, peeled
moderately spicy red chiles, such as Fresnos, cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices
extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/3 cup for panfrying
1 ½ tsp
scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
Flaky sea salt, for finishing
Potatoes often get the cook-smash-and-cook treatment, but I’m here to show you that beets deserve it, too. Roasted in the oven and then smashed, the skin-on beets get panfried in olive oil until they’re dark and sexy, with a mixture of tender, slightly crisp, and crackly textures. Then they’re lavished with olive oil fragrant from garlic, chiles, and scallions to complete this super-savory beet hash.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine the beets, garlic, chiles, and the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat well. Season with the kosher salt. Transfer the mixture to a large Dutch oven or baking dish (deep enough so the beets don’t go over the rim), pour in 3 tablespoons of water, and cover tightly with foil.
- Roast until the beets are very tender (a sharp knife should go in with barely any pressure), 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the foil and let the beets sit until they’re cool enough to handle but still warm.
- Reserve the garlic and chiles, discarding any that got too dark. Transfer the beets to a cutting board (lined with parchment paper, to avoid staining the board), then use a small plate to, one by one, gently crush the beets to a relatively even thickness of 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Try to keep them mostly in one piece.
- Heat the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmery. Cook the beets, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, flipping once, until charred and crisp at the edges, about 3 minutes per side. It’s okay if they fall apart a bit—any little pieces will get extra crispy. As they’re done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a platter, leaving the oil behind.
- When all the beets are ready, add the scallions and the reserved garlic and chiles to the pan and cook, stirring, just until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Scatter the mixture over the beets, season with flaky salt, and serve.