Transform a can of beetroot into an elegant side dish with just 2 ingredients and 5 minutes. Or if you really want to up the stakes, make this with fresh beetroot!
“This is a great example of making a really elegant dish on a budget.“
I spent my childhood picking beetroot out of hamburgers. I spent my teenage years simply stubbornly refusing to eat even the smallest piece of beetroot in any form, no matter how hard my mother tried to hide them. Then in my twenties, I tried beetroot for the first time….and well, well, well, what do you know, it turns out that I actually LIKE it. More than like, I really like it. So much that I can eat it plain, whether they be fresh ones just boiled or roasted or even straight out of the can.
I also had the same revelation with avocado, couscous and blue cheese, amongst other things that kids typically refuse to eat then grow to love!
“Toss these glazed beetroots with leafy greens and you’ll have an instant, self-dressing salad.”
This dish is a classic example of how you can make amazing food without spending a lot and with just a few ingredients. All you need is 1 can of baby beetroots, 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar (it doesn’t need to be an expensive one) and 3 tbsp brown sugar. A sprinkle of thyme leaves is a great finishing touch if you have it – thyme and beetroot go together like tomato and basil.
“The flavour of this is so intense that you can serve it with a grilled piece of meat seasoned with just salt and pepper. The glaze doubles as a sauce too.“
Using canned beetroot is cost effective, convenient and it’s really delicious. But you can take this from really delicious to amaaaazing by making this with fresh beetroot. Either baby beetroots or large ones cut into bite size pieces, and they can either be boiled or roasted. So I’ve included directions to make this with both canned and fresh beetroots.
This lasts well in the fridge for a week. After that I find the glaze gets a bit thinner. I serve it on the side of beef or lamb grilled with very simple flavours, sometimes even with just salt and pepper. The glaze is thick and sweet and has the intense flavour of balsamic vinegar so it doubles as a sauce for the meat as well.
It is also great in salads, as you can imagine. You don’t even need a dressing, just toss the glazed beetroot with some leafy greens and you have an instant, self dressing salad.
Hope you give it a try! It really is amazing what a splash of balsamic and sugar can do to transform a can of beetroot!
- 450g/15oz can (drained) baby beetroot (beets) OR fresh baby beetroot (about 10)
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar (any quality is fine)
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
- To cook fresh beetroot, bring a pot of water to boil, then place beetroot in the water and cook for 10 minutes until tender.
- Drain beetroot, allow to cool to handle and peel off the skin (either with a teaspoon or vegetable peeler).
- Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small frying pan or saucepan over medium high heat.
- Bring to simmer and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened and syrupy.
- Remove from heat.
- Cut larger beetroots into bite size pieces, either into halves or quarters.
- Toss into balsamic glaze and sprinkle in thyme leaves, if using.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.