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, 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.
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