Thyme-roasted beets


Excellent with roasts, with beef tongue, with anything. Can be prepared in stages, over a few days, with the finish of about 45 min in the oven.

Serves 4-6

  • 1kg raw beetroots (different colours if you wish)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 70-80ml olive oil
  • A good knob of butter

Preprocess the beets in a way you find preferable.

Boiling method: Put your beetroot in a pan, cover with cold water and add a good tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour or until tender. You can test by just putting the point of a knife or skewer into the centre of the beetroot, they may take longer depending on the size. When ready, drain in a colander and leave to cool, you can speed up the process by plunging them into cold water.

Baking method (my favourite) : set the oven to 350F, place beets on a baking sheet, slide into the oven when ready (hot). Bake until soft, the time depends on the size of the bulbs, maybe 30-40 minutes?. I like this method better, as the juice and taste stays inside the vegetable instead of seeping into the water (and, consequently, into the drain).

Microwave cooking will likely also work, the time and the size of the batch must suite the power and the size of your appliance.

Slice and/or dice

When beets are cooked and cool, you remove the skins by rubbing them off with your hands; or peeling the skin off with a small knife. A pair of rubber gloves will save you getting red stained hands..

Cut the beets into even sized chunky wedges, quarters or halves if they are small. You want all the pieces to be of sensibly equal size, as they will be roasted together in the hot oven.

Now you can cover them and store in the fridge until about one hour before you want to serve them..

Roast and serve

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400F
  2. Put the beet chunks in a roasting tray with the olive oil and seasoning. Mix well, to make sure everyone is well covered.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes, giving the occasional stir.
  4. Stir in the thyme and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, again stirring every so often.
  5. Add the butter, stir well so it melts over the beets, and serve.


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