This is a 5 star beetroot dish: crimson, caramely and delicious. It begs to be given due respect at the dinner table and shared with very good friends.
Serves four to six
75g (2¾oz) brown sugar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey, plus extra to serve
6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
4 cooked beetroots
250g puff pastry
Flour for dusting
4-8 discs or wedges of goat’s cheese
1. Heat the oven to 180C. In a smallish ovenproof frying-pan over a medium heat, heat the sugar until it dissolves, then add a big pinch of sea salt, the butter and a splash of balsamic, and keep stirring. It’ll go foamy. Keep stirring on the heat until it has gone a mahogany brown.
2. Take off the heat and stir in the honey and thyme.
3. Cut the beetroots into nice fat slices and carefully (so you don’t burn your fingers) arrange the slices fanned out over the caramel, working in a spiral towards the centre. Or, if you cant be bothered to do that, cut into wedges and spread evenly around the pan. Either way the finished dish will look superb. Use up all the beetroot. Season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry large enough to cover the beetroot or use a square of puff pastry. Place it on top of the beetroot, tucking the edges down into the pan. Put the whole lot into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool down just a little.
5. Get a plate that’s bigger than the pan and invert it over the pan.
6. Serve by the wedge while still warm, with goat’s cheese on top, and, if you fancy it, a drizzle of honey and a few extra thyme leaves.
Recipe adapted from The Fabulous Baker Brothers.
Photographer: Alida Ryder