Beetroot & I go way back. The first menu of my first ever catering job featured Beetroot in three dishes: a Spiced Beetroot Hummus, Beetroot & Red Cabbage Slaw, and Roast Beetroot & Garlic. Many of these dishes still make the odd appearance, I briefly sold my Beetroot Hummus at Portobello Road Market this summer. However, the way I treat my beetroot has changed dramatically since that first foray into the catering world.
Look for firm Beetroot, and use them fresh, the older they are the less colour they have, this is especially important if you are making hummus, marinades or syrups. Don't just bin the beetroot tops; they are delicious wilted with swiss chard- cook them just as you would spinach, low & slow with lots of butter & salt.
Wash away any dirt & roughly top and tail your beetroot. Preheat your oven to 200c. Line a deep baking tray with tin foil, then lay a piece sideways with tin foil coming up & out so that you can cover the beetroot with tin foil.
Scatter a bunch of thyme on the bottom of the tray, sprinkle salt, 3 garlic cloves, pepper & pink peppercorns amongst the thyme. Place your beetroot atop of the thyme, drizzle with oil & fill with water- to half the height of the beetroot.
Lay a new piece of tin foil on top of the beetroot, and wrap with the original tinfoil, so that no direct heat can reach the beetroot.
Bake for 1-1.5hours until they give slightly when pressed.
Remove from the oven and drain, discard the thyme. When the beetroot have cooled peel by simply squeezing the skins from them.
They are now ready for whatever you have prepared them for! Beetroot will keep for 4 days in the fridge.
A very simple way to eat warm beetroot is with a drizzle of yoghurt, lemon zest & coriander!