Oh, the joy of just-pulled garden beetroot. Sweet and earthy, it really is incomparable. There’s nothing wrong with boiling (peeled) beetroot in salted water, but roasting them skin-on imparts a more robust flavour. I find it very convenient to roast and peel six or so beetroot to keep on hand in the fridge, to use one way or another throughout the week. When tomatoes are out of season, beetroot are a natural addition to green salads.
Beetroot roasted in their skins
Sometimes I like to treat beetroot like baked potatoes, roasting them whole, skin on, and serving them hot with ‘all the fixings’.
Choose small-to-mediumsized beetroot and wash them well. Trim them, but leave a bit of root and stem so they look as natural as possible.
Put them in a baking dish with just over a centimetre of water and a thyme sprig, cover tightly with foil, and pop them into a hot oven. They’ll take at least an hour at 190C/gas mark 5, sometimes a bit longer.
Serve the beets with their skins on, split top to bottom. Lavish them with butter, crème fraîche and snipped chives, and finish with some fleur de sel and a twist of the pepper mill. You can upgrade the presentation with a dab of caviar or trout roe for a special occasion.