JUMP TO RECIPE -
I’ve complained before about the pointlessness of selling cooked beetroot, often, to make matters worse, pickled in nasty vinegar. They do treat us like indolent idiots, those supermarkets.
If your best beetroot experience is that of a bland salad with bland, sour, floppy slices mixed in, rendering everything crimson – blame the shops, not your mum. I think only recently raw beetroots have started to turn up in supermarkets and on market stalls.
Nothing to be scared of – don a pair of disposable gloves for peeling, chopping, grating and handling, lest the crimson spreading on your palms should freak you out.
This is really gorgeous – beetroot baked long, loooong, you might even consider biscuit beetroot: cooked twice. Pre-cooked on Sunday afternoon, or when you can be bothered, and browned off to finish the next evening, to serve with fish or pork.
- 4-5 medium sized raw beetroot
- a few sprigs of thyme
- a few sprigs of tarragon
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed coarsely
- 2 tsp whole white peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- salt and black pepper
- olive oil
- white wine or balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp honey
Line a heavy casserole dish with double layers of aluminium foil – otherwise the dish will be a write-off. Peel the beetroots and cut them into eights – slice horizontally and quarter.
Place in the dish together with the garlic, herbs, peppercorns and mustard seeds. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with plenty of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar and splash the honey all over the beetroot. Shake the pan about to mix everything together; don’t stir with a spoon so you don’t risk tearing the foil.
Cover tightly with a lid.
Bake in an oven preheated to 190C/375F/gas 5 for two hours or until the beetroot is perfectly tender.
Serve with rice and cooked lentils for a hearty vegetarian dish.