For an easy yet eye-catching vegetarian Christmas dish, make our beetroot terrine. Use our step-by-step picture guide to make this meat-free starter for a crowd, topped with candied walnuts and crisp herbs.
light olive oil
8 medium raw beetroot, (about 1kg)
a small bunch oregano, leaves picked
300g soft goat’s cheese
100g full-fat soft cheese
chopped to make 1 tbsp thyme leaves
snipped to make 2 tbsp chives
75g walnut halves
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
1/2 a small bunch sage, leaves picked
- Brush a long and thin terrine mould or loaf tin (approx 20cm x 9cm) with a little olive oil, then line with a few pieces of clingfilm, leaving enough to overlap the top. Put the beetroot in a pan and top up with cold water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 40-50 minutes until a knife pierces them easily, then leave to cool.
- Finely chop half the oregano and beat into the goat’s cheese and soft cheese with the thyme, chives, ½ tsp finely ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and chill.
- Peel the beetroot by rubbing off the skin with your thumb (wear gloves to prevent staining) and carefully cut into 1.5mm slices on a mandoline, or with a very sharp knife.
- Add a layer of slightly overlapping beetroot slices to the terrine. Trim them to fit flush to the sides of the tin, or keep them rustic if you like. Add a thin layer of the goat’s cheese mix, then repeat until everything is used up, finishing with a layer of beetroot.
- Cover with more clingfilm, weigh down with a piece of card and a few tins, and chill overnight.
- To make the garnish, toast the nuts in a small frying pan for a few minutes then sprinkle-over the sugar. Stir for a minute until the sugar melts and coats the nuts. Tip out onto a baking tray and leave to cool.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small pan and add the sage and remaining oregano leaves. Fry for a few minutes until crisp then scoop out and drain on kitchen paper. Season with a little salt. You can do this up to 2 hours before and leave at room temperature.
- To serve, remove the top layer of clingfilm for the terrine and tip onto a platter or board. Using the remaining clingfilm, gently remove the terrine from the mould and lift off the clingfilm. Top with the walnuts and crisp herbs and cut into slices with a very sharp knife. Serve with toast and a few salad leaves if you like.