Chef Pilar Valdes' Coffee Roasted Beets with Salted Yogurt Sauce

10 minsPrep Time
1 hrCook Time

1 hr 10 minsTotal Time


  • 2 bunches beets, about 2-2.5lb total, scrubbed clean, ends and tops trimmed
  • 1 cups coffee beans, plus any additional spent grounds from brewed coffee (up to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to finish
  • Flaky sea salt, to finish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 

  2. In a baking dish large enough to fit all your beets in one layer, at least 2 inches deep, combine the coffee, fennel, black peppercorns and cumin seeds. Pour in 1 cup of water. Place the cleaned and trimmed beets, cut top side down, into the pan. The water should come up to about 1/4 inch—if not, add more water. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven until the beets are cooked through and offer little when pierced with a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove aluminum foil to release steam and allow beets to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins and cut beets into quarters. 

  3. Add beets to a medium mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt, freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss to coat and set aside. 

  4. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, a good pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix, and check for seasoning; adjust salt to taste. 

  5. To serve, add a dollop of the yogurt sauce at the bottom of the bowl. Top with the beets, and finish with a drizzle of your best olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, flaky sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.