And the beet goes on


Beetroot used to have a rather a bad reputation as a pickled dinosaur, but in recent years it’s become quite fashionable. It feels like a winter vegetable but suits summer’s light alfresco dishes just as well. Its earthy taste can take a little while to appreciate, but coupled with horseradish or salty cheeses like Pecorino, Parmesan, feta or Dolcelatte, it comes into its own.

I also find it a perfect accompaniment to Sunday lunch. It’s happy to sit in its foil parcel for a little longer than planned when the water for the carrots hasn’t boiled, the potatoes aren’t quite done, or you’ve forgotten to cook the vegetarian guest’s meal – as I did this weekend…

Roast beets with orange, bay, thyme and balsamic vinegar (Serves 3-4 as a side)


  • 2-3 medium-sized beetroot

  • Juice of half an orange

  • 1 bay leaf

  • A few sprigs of thyme

  • 3 tbs balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbs olive oil


Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Peel beetroot – preferably over the sink as they tend to turn things purple.

Make a foil parcel by taking a single large sheet of foil, approximately 30cm long and folding it in half, then folding the sides over on themselves to seal it. Fold the bottom piece up a couple of times until you’ve created a bag.

Dice the beetroot into 1-2cm cubes and pop in the foil along with the rest of the ingredients, plus some salt and pepper. Seal the top and bake for between 45 minutes and an hour until tender.

One comment

  1. I just love beetroot and am lucky to get donated them by friends with an allotment and also my friend Sarah.Why give them to me in lots of hundreds… I make a great beetroot chutney/relish which flies out the door as fast as its made
    Here is a recipe which I vary depending on what I have
    Step 1
    collect some jars with lids the smaller the better (as this flies our the door as gifts), preferably plastic lids.
    You will need 2 large jars or 3 pound sized jars (450 g
    jam jar size)
    Step 2 make chutney
    2 medium beetroot or 3 small medium
    is not very big), peeled and grated (wear gloves and grate onto
    plastic as beetroot stains)
    2 cooking apples peeled and grated or 3 eating peeled and grated (fine
    to chop in some finely)
    2-3 onions grated (fine to chop some finely if grating too hard on the eyes)
    thumb of ginger peeled and grated (about 1.5 cm)
    1 chile (halved)
    300 ml of vinegar (cider or malt)
    300 g brown sugar
    juice and rind or an orange (optional)
    Take large heavy bottomed pan. Put grated veg and apple into a
    saucepan with the vinegar and ginger and chile and boil down for 20
    Add sugar move pan to low heat and simmer for at least an hour (maybe
    two). The chutney is done when you run a wooden spoon down it to make
    a line and it does not fill with vinegar.
    When you think chutney is close to being done then heat oven to 150 c
    and put jars in. Turn off once it is heated and leave jars in the
    oven for another ten minutes (this sterilises them you can also just
    run them through the hot wash in the dishwasher and use immediately)
    Ladle hot chutney into warm jars. Cover with clean cloth as they
    cool. Once cooled put lids on and label. If lids are metal then out a
    bit of clingfilm or plastic underneath as the vinegar in the chutney
    reacts with metal. Jam pot covers will not do except with a lid over
    them as the vinegar will evaporate.
    If you have used cider vinegar this will be ready to eat in a few days
    otherwise give it a month.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer