Hawthorn leaves, beetroot, walnuts & goat’s cheese

by Lesley Holdship

A sweet and nutty salad, made with the spoils of England’s spring woodland

Young, small hawthorn leaves—also known as ‘bread and butter’—are sweet and soft. As the hawthorn is just coming into leaf, they are perfect at this time of year. You'll know hawthorn from blackthorn because the latter flowers first with no leaves, while the hawthorn comes into leaf first.


3 raw beetroot, peeled
Olive oil, for roasting and dressing
Sea salt and black pepper
50g freshly picked young hawthorn leaves
25g walnut pieces, toasted
50g goat's cheese
Balsamic syrup


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut the beetroot into wedges and lay them on a tray. Douse with olive oil and season well. Roast for 20-25 mins, until tender.

Meanwhile, remove any twigs from the hawthorn leaves then quickly wash and pat them dry. Place the leaves on a plate, scatter with the toasted walnuts and then crumble over the cheese.

Sit the beetroot on the salad, season and drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic syrup then serve, perhaps with a glass of cider.

Recipe: Lesley Holdship
Image: John Holdship