Salt Baked Beetroot, Pine, Pickled Damson & Hazelnut by Ciaran Sweeney BACK

Salt Baked Beetroot, Pine, Pickled Damson & Hazelnut by Ciaran Sweeney

Main Course Recipes | 17th January 2020

“Most chefs tend to think about the protein element of the dish, the meat or the fish, and then think about a vegetable garnish or sauce that will compliment it, but what if we turn that around?

What if we put the vegetable first, make it the main focus of the dish, and then think about what compliments it and brings out the best in it” Chef Ciaran Sweeney.

In 2019, we hosted a Veg-Centric Masterclass with Chef Ciaran Sweeney at our Ballymun and Cork Food Theatres, as part of our Chef Network partnership. This masterclass focused on dishes that put vegetables centre stage. As part of the event Chef Ciaran cooked a beautiful baked beetroot that was too good not to share with you. We hope you enjoy this recipe by Chef Ciaran Sweeney.

What You’ll Need

2kg large organic beetroots

Hazelnut Emulsion

  • 1 litre hazelnut oil
  • 150 egg yolks
  • 30ml sherry vinegar
  • 20g dijon mustard
  • 10g lemon juice

Salt Dough

  • 300g malt flour
  • 80g strong flour
  • 140g salt
  • 150g egg white
  • 100g fresh pine shoots

Beetroot & Pine Sauce

  • 1 litre beetroot juice
  • 200ml port
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 70g diced butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • 20g dried pine powder


  • 100g fresh damsons
  • 300ml pickle
  • 80g sugar
  • 100g water
  • 80g red wine vinegar
  • 40g beet juice

For the Salt Dough

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the egg whites to form a dough-like consistency and turn on to a floured surface and knead until all components come together.

Roll the dough into a 2 cm thick sheet and place the peeled beetroot in the centre of the dough.

Top with a few fresh pine shoots and wrap it in the salt dough sheet.

Bake in a 180 ®C preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes.

For the Pickle

Half the fresh damsons and remove stone.

Bring the rest of the ingredients to the boil in a small pot and pour over the prepped damsons in a jam jar.

Leave to macerate for at least 24 hours.

For the Beetroot & Pine Sauce

Reduce the beetroot juice by half then add the port, red wine and red wine vinegar.  When the liquid has reduced by half, add the butter and season with salt, pepper and dried pine.

For the Hazelnut Emulsion

Whisk together egg yolks, vinegar, mustard and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil as you continue to whisk the mixture.

The oil should start to thicken the egg yolks forming a mayonnaise, finally season to taste.

To Serve

Remove the baked beetroot from the salt dough and place on a plate. Add the sauce, pickled damsons and emulsions.

Garnish with beetroot and nasturtium leaves.


Interested in using more salt dough cooking in your kitchen? Check out Clement’s Baked Lamb Shank in Salt Crust.