Roast Beetroot with Honey and Thyme is a simple and delightful side dish recipe. The beetroot is roasted in the oven then coated in a delicious dressing that brings out all the sweet earthy flavours of the beets.
Why make Roast Beetroot with Honey & Thyme?
Beetroot is a really versatile root vegetable with a really great taste. It has a natural sweetness that works so well with honey. The balsamic dressing means that the sweet taste is not overpowering and the fresh thyme adds a freshness that lifts the whole dish to a new level.
What is Beetroot?
Beetroot is a root vegetable that is usually a deep purple or dark red colour. Beetroot also comes in different colours and golden beets are a glorious golden yellow. You can also get pink and white striped beets called Choggia or Candy Beets.
Most people in the UK are familiar with pickled beetroot. It was a standard accompaniment with salads in the 1960s and 70s. I am not a big fan of pickled beetroot, so if you think you don’t like beetroot because you have only eaten pickled then try this recipe and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
What kind of honey should I use?
I like to use Scottish honey wherever I can, so that is what I use for this recipe. If you can get honey from your own local area then I recommend that you buy and use that.
There are huge benefits from using honey from bees that have gathered pollen from the countryside where you live. Raw, local honey contains a blend of local pollen, which may strengthen your immune system and reduce hayfever symptoms.
Can I use dried thyme?
Although you can use dried thyme, I do not recommend it. It will change the flavour of the dish and it will lack the fresh flavour of the fresh thyme leaves.
Can I use any other herbs?
If you don’t have, or don’t like, fresh thyme then you can substitute other fresh herbs such as finely chopped fresh parsley or mint.
What is Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic Vinegar is a dark, concentrated vinegar that is slightly sweet. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is made from only grape must and is made in small batches, this makes it very expensive. If your budget doesn’t stretch to handcrafted balsamic then you can buy commercially produced balsamic vinegar that is matured for a shorter time and includes some white wine vinegar along with the grape must.
Can I substitute other vinegars for balsamic?
Balsamic Vinegar is much less harsh in flavour than wine or cider vinegar. And although you could use these kinds of vinegar, they would not provide the rich and delicious flavours provided by balsamic vinegar.
If you don’t have balsamic vinegar then I suggest you use freshly squeezed orange juice as a substitute. Fresh orange juice has a good combination of acidity and sweetness to complement this recipe.
How long should I roast the beetroot?
The length of time needed to roast the beetroot depends on the size of the beets. Large beetroots that are about the size of a small orange will take longer to roast and become soft. Whereas small beetroots that are about the size of an egg may only take 30-40 minutes to roast.
Roast in the oven
Wash the beetroot, twist off the leaves and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven at 200C/180C fan for an hour to an hour and a half. Check the beetroot after an hour by squeezing the foil. If they still feel hard, put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes then try again.
Can I roast beetroot in my slow cooker?
Yes, you can, and this is one of my favourite ways to cook beetroots. Wash the beetroot and wrap it in foil. Place in the slow cooker and cook for 5-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
Can I use ready cooked beetroot?
Use ready-cooked beetroot if you don’t have time to cook your own beets. Make sure that it is not cooked in vinegar as this will spoil the dish. Put the ready-cooked beets into an ovenproof dish drizzle with the oil and honey and warm through. You can do this in the oven or in your microwave. Finish the dish with balsamic vinegar and a few extra thyme leaves.
This recipe for roast beetroot is naturally gluten-free.
Roast Beetroot with Honey & Thyme is a meat-free recipe and is suitable for vegetarians. To make the recipe suitable for a vegan diet, leave out the honey and use a vegan honey substitute such as Dandelion Honey.
How do I serve Roast Beetroot with Honey & Thyme?
Serve the roast beetroot as a warm side dish with roasts, casseroles and stews. I like beetroot with stronger flavoured meats like lamb, beef and game such as venison or pheasant. But because of the slight sweetness, it is also a great accompaniment to cooked ham or with chicken and pork.
More Beetroot Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
Beetroot Chorizo & Feta Salad is a wonderful plate of tastes and textures. The beetroot brings a sweet earthy flavour, the chorizo is crisp and spicy and the feta brings a salty, creamy luxury to this simple salad plate.
These vegetarian Beetroot Burgers are served in a toasted brioche bun. They are accompanied by layers of salad, gherkins and a delicious smoky chipotle mayo to make a really wonderful meal.
Beetroot and Black Cumin Soup is such a beautiful rich red colour and it looks so good with a contrasting spoonful of yogurt and some finely chopped parsley. Add a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy the sweet and sour taste revelation.
PIN FOR LATER
Roast Beetroot with Honey and Thyme
- 500 grams beetroot raw
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp oil light oil such as rapeseed oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 500 grams beetrootRemove the leaves from the beetroot by twisting them off (don’t cut them or the beetroot will ‘bleed’
- Scrub the beetroot clean.
- Wrap the beets in foil
- Roast in the oven at 200C/180C (Fan) for between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the size of the beetroot.
- When the beetroot are cooked, take them out of the foil and while still warm, slip off the skins (I usually wear rubber gloves, otherwise you end up with purple hands) and quarter the beets.
- 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp fresh thymePlace the quartered beetroot into an ovenproof dish and spoon over two teaspoons of good local honey, 1 tbsp of rapeseed or other light oil and 1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegarPut the dish back into the oven for about 5 minutes to warm through, then add 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar.
- Serve warm as a side dish with roast meats or allow to cool to room temperature and serve with salads.
This recipe was first published in October 2013