roast beetroot with goats’ cheese

Beetroot is roasted ‘en papillote’ here, which means it’s packed into a neat package of foil or parchment before being roasted in the oven. The juices are saved for the dressing, which goes beautifully with breadcrumbed French goats’ cheese.

for the beetroot
4 beetroot (about 480g/1lb 1oz), washed and trimmed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the beetroot dressing
20g/¾oz reserved roasted beetroot juices
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 pinches sea salt
1 pinches freshly ground black pepper

for the goats’ cheese
50g/1¾oz plain flour
2 free-range eggs, beaten
50g/1¾oz coarse breadcrumbs
20g/½oz extra virgin rapeseed oil
4 whole goats’ cheese, such as 4 crotins or ¼ ragstone cut into 4 pieces

to finish the salad
1 chicory, cut into 12 through the root and placed in iced water
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tbsp halved walnuts

  • For the beetroot, preheat your oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.


  • Lay a double layer of foil (45 x 45cm/17½ x 17½in) onto a baking tray and top with the beetroot, oil, thyme, garlic and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Wrap the beetroot in the foil to make a sealed package and roast in the oven for two hours.


  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before peeling. Reserve the juice that has collected in the foil for the dressing.
  • Cut the beetroot into even pieces and reserve. (You may wish to use gloves to do this, to protect your hands from staining red.)


  • For the beetroot dressing, whisk all the ingredients together with a splash of water to loosen. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • To finish the salad, mix the dressing with the prepared beetroot and chicory leaves. Reserve.


  • For the goats’ cheese, increase the oven temperature to 230C/450F/Gas 8.
  • Place the plain flour onto a plate, the eggs into a shallow bowl, and mix the breadcrumbs with the oil in a separate bowl. Roll each cheese in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg and then in the oiled breadcrumbs to cover.


  • Place the coated cheese rounds on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for six minutes.
  • To serve, arrange the beetroot salad in the centre of each of four plates, top with the hot goats’ cheese. Garnish with a few chopped chives and walnuts.