Today's recipe is another winner from What to Cook and How to Cook It, Jane Hornby's excellent step-by-step take on home cooking. This delicious salad, a French bistrot classic, works well as either a main course or a starter.

Warm Goat Cheese and Beet Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 2 (easily doubled)

A bistro-style salad that’s hard to improve on – although you can’t go wrong by adding a bit of crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine, too. It also makes a good starter for 4 people.


  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • ½ red onion

  • 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tsp honey

  • 2 (3 ½ - oz) goat cheese disks

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 4 medium-size cooked beets (not pickled)

  • 3 oz mixed salad greens

  • salt and pepper



Heat a small pan over low heat, then add the pine nuts. Cook very gently for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts are toasted and golden. Transfer them to a plate once they’re ready.


For the dressing, finely chop the onion and put into a small bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, honey, and some salt and pepper, then set aside.


Preheat the broiler. Cut the cheeses in half, then place, cut sides up, onto a nonstick baking pan or a pan lined with parchment paper. Pick the leaves from the thyme and sprinkle over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.


Put the cheeses under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until they start to melt and turn brown around the edges.


While the cheese cooks, cut the beets into wedges. Put onto 2 plates with the salad greens. Sprinkle with the pine nuts.


Using a spatula, lift the cheeses from the baking pan and onto each plate. Drizzle the dressing, including the chopped onion, over and around each plate. Serve immediately.

what to cook and how to cook it--

From What to Cook and How to Cook It (November 2010 $39.95), by Jane Hornby, Phaidon Press. Read our review of this book.

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