Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Wash beetroot well, leaving the skin intact. Put the olive oil in a small baking dish. Halve the beetroot and place cut side down in the dish. Add the crushed garlic cloves and the bay leaf. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for an hour until tender. Allow to cool.
Peel the beetroot and cut the flesh into wedges or cubes. Squeeze out the soft garlic and any juices in the baking dish. Toss with beetroot and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.