Salad of beetroot, goat’s cheese and candied pecans

Salad of beetroot, goat’s cheese and candied pecans

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
2 crottin goat’s cheeses, (firm, small individual cheeses)
small handful thyme sprigs
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
500g uncooked baby beetroot
100g lamb’s lettuce

For the candied pecans

Quantity Ingredient
100g pecan nut halves
1 tablespoon icing sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
olive oil, to drizzle

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the crottins in half horizontally and place in a bowl. Finely chop enough thyme leaves to give you 2 teaspoons and stir into the oil. Trickle the thyme flavoured oil over the goat’s cheese and set aside.
  3. Wash the beetroot and cut off the tops, leaving about 1cm tufty stem still attached, then trim the root. Place the beetroot in a bowl and toss in enough olive oil to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper and add a few thyme sprigs.
  4. Tip the beetroot into a roasting tin lined with foil and roast for 45–60 minutes, or until tender. Check for tenderness with the point of a cutlery knife. When the beetroot is tender, allow it to cool a little, then slip the skins off with your fingers. They are easier to peel from the root end to the stalk. Cut into halves or wedges, depending on their size.
  5. While the beetroot is cooking, prepare the candied pecans. Put the pecans into a bowl, pour boiling water over them, then drain well. Sift the icing sugar, cinnamon and cayenne together into another bowl, add the pecans and toss them in the icing sugar mixture. Line a baking sheet with silicone paper, lay the nuts out on the paper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. They may need to be turned over once when they have just started to brown.
  6. To make the dressing, mix the mustard and wine vinegar together in a small bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  7. When ready to serve, heat the grill to its highest setting. Place the 4 half crottins on a baking sheet, sprinkle with pepper and grill until hot (or use a blow torch). Toss the lamb’s lettuce in the dressing and pile onto 4 plates. Arrange the beetroot and pecan nuts over the lettuce and top each with a grilled goat’s cheese half.


  • The cheese can be marinated in advance for a more distinct flavour.
Leiths School of food and wine
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