Forget limp slices of beetroot swimming in a bath of vinegar, which is the cooked beetroot I was used to growing up, is it any wonder I stopped eating them once I had a choice. Even simply boiled beetroot, though infinitely better than pickled, left me wondering what all the fuss was about.
It was only after I roasted beetroot, my love affair with all things beets began.
To get the full sweetness and nutritional goodness of this lovely vegetable, then simply roast it. As you can see in this roast beetroot recipe it is simple and easy, with the result, beets with an intensified sweet flavour with no compromise on the texture.
Beetroot is best roasted with the skin on, which is easily removed once the beetroot is cooked. Take care not to break the skin when washing the beetroot and do not cut the roots off and leave at least 2.5cm/1” of stalk on the top.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6
- Carefully wash the beetroot under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut away the leaves making sure you leave at least 2.5cm/1" of the stalk, preferably a little more.
- Place the beets in a large, roomy roasting tin, sprinkle with the olive oil, roll the beetroot in the oil to make sure they are well covered. Sprinkle with sea salt and the thyme.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until the beets are soft but not shrunken. Remove the tin form the oven, then leave the beets to cool. Once cooled, rub the skin away with a piece of kitchen paper, it should come away easily. I also like to wear a pair of rubber gloves when I do this to stop my hands from turning red. Cut away the root and stalks and then use as desired.
- Roasted beetroot freezes really well. I find chopping them into cubes, it slices works best. Put them into a zip freezer bags and freeze. They keep extremely well for up to a month. Allow them to defrost slowly, in the fridge is best. Use as you would the freshly roasted, you will not be able to tell the difference.
Roast beetroot works well with soft goats' cheese and seasonal greens, in a salad, gently warmed and served on pasta with fresh ruccola/rocket, as a side dish with any meat, or simply on their own with an extra drizzle of olive oil, yum.