April Recipe: Goat’s Cheese

By Nicola Copping 12 April 2012

Goat's Cheese Salad

WATERMELON SALAD WITH GOAT'S CHEESE AND AGRODOLCE DRESSING

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter.

For the dressing:
3 tbsp caster
Sugar
3 tbsp balsamic
Vinegar
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil

For the salad:
1 medium watermelon
1 bag of rocket leaves
A small bunch of mint, chopped
175g goat's cheese
A handful of toasted pine nuts

1. To make the agrodolce dressing, put the sugar into a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and turns a light-brown colour. Remove from the heat and add the balsamic vinegar (be careful, as the mixture will splatter). The sugar will harden with the addition of the vinegar, so place the pan back over a medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves again.

2. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for a few minutes until the mixture becomes syrupy. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then leave to cool. The dressing can be kept in a container in the fridge for a few days.

3. Peel the watermelon then chop it into bite-sized pieces, removing the seeds where possible. Place the melon in a mixing bowl along with the rocket leaves and the mint. Crumble in the goat's cheese and toss the salad, then divide it between the plates and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.

4. Add the olive oil to the agrodolce dressing and mix together well, then drizzle over the salad.

Goat's Cheese Tart

CARAMELISED RED ONION TART WITH GOAT'S CHEESE

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter

For the filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
750g red onions, sliced
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp sugar
1 pinch of salt
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
175g goat's cheese

For the short crust pastry:
225g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
100g cold butter, cut into small cubes

To serve:
Salad leaves
You will need a 23cm x 23cm flan tin

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the onions, thyme, sugar and salt. Cook over a medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until the vinegar has almost evaporated (this will take around 20 minutes).

3. To make the pastry, put the flour and salt in a bowl and add the cubes of butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix with a palette knife to bind the dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. Remove the dough from the fridge, roll it out and place it in the flan tin. Put a sheet of baking paper on top of the dough and cover this with ceramic baking beans or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the baking paper and the beans. Return the pastry to the oven for 5 minutes.

5. Remove the pastry from the oven and fill it with the onion mixture, then crumble the goat's cheese on top. Place the tart back in the oven for 10 minutes. Once the tart is cooked, serve with salad leaves.

Goat's Cheese Frittatas

MINI FRITTATAS WITH GOAT'S CHEESE AND SUN-BLUSHED TOMATOES

Makes 6 frittatas

1 tbsp vegetable oil
80g sun-blushed tomatoes, chopped
80g goat's cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
8 large eggs
You will need a 6-cup baking tray

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

2. Lightly oil the baking tray.

3. In a bowl, mix the sun-blushed tomatoes, goat's cheese and chives. Divide the mixture into the 6 cups in the baking tray.

4. Lightly beat the eggs, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg on top of the tomato and goat's cheese mixture, filling the baking tray holes almost to the top.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture puffs up and is set in the centre. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove the frittatas from the tin.

Lamb Stuffed With Goat's Cheese

SADDLE OF LAMB STUFFED WITH FIGS AND GOAT'S CHEESE

Serves 6

125g dried figs
A handful of parsley, chopped
125g goat's cheese
1.5kg saddle of lamb, boned
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bulb of garlic, cut in half
A couple of sprigs of rosemary

To serve:
Minted new potatoes and green beans

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

2. Roughly chop the figs and place into a food processor along with the parsley. Pulse until the mixture is the same texture as thick breadcrumbs. Transfer this into a bowl and crumble in the goat's cheese, then mix together well. Season with salt and pepper.

3. On a chopping board, lay the saddle of lamb skin-side down. Remove the 2 fillets from the loin and set aside. Season the loin with salt and pepper, then place the fig and goat's cheese stuffing in the middle of the loin. Replace the fillets on top of the stuffing. Pull one of the pieces of skin tightly over the stuffing and fold the other piece over. Tie the saddle with butcher's string.

4. On a hob, heat the olive oil in a roasting dish and sear the lamb all over until the skin is golden. Take the dish off the heat, add the garlic and rosemary and place in the oven. Roast for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven and cover loosely with tinfoil. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.

5. Serve with minted new potatoes and green beans.