Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Roll the beetroot in half the olive oil in a small roasting tin, season, cover with foil and bake for 1 hr – check it’s cooked by pushing a knife into the beetroot, it should go in easily. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Leave the oven on. Meanwhile, whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Place the ciabatta on a tray, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake for 8 mins until crisp, then leave to cool. When the beetroot is cool enough to handle, peel, cut into wedges and add to the dressing to lightly pickle. Can all be done up to two days ahead.
Break the goat’s cheese into small chunks in a bowl, beat with a spoon, then add the crème fraîche, thyme, truffle oil, if using, and some cracked black pepper, then whisk until light and fluffy. Spoon into a piping bag and chill. Can be done two days ahead.
Halve the chicory and remove the core with a sharp knife, then slice the leaves. Add to the bowl with the beetroot. Cut the cheeks off the sides of the apple and finely slice. To serve, pipe the goat’s cheese onto each plate, then build the beetroot up around it. Press the chicory into the cheese and spoon over the dressing, then add the apple. Break the croutons into random shapes and press into the cheese too. To finish, scatter over the nuts and orange zest.