Some ingredients beg to be part of a special creation. The creation doesn’t necessarily need to be fussy or complicated, but it needs to be special, composed of equally wonderful ingredients that produce a plate that sings.
Ingredients like a truly magical goats’ cheese. I adore any cheese, but throughout August my goats’ cheese obsession got out of control. Each weekend consisted of pilgrimages to fine cheese purveyors such as Drewton’s, The Courtyard Dairy and Millies, who each introduced me to some utterly delectable goats’ cheeses. Barely a meal went by that didn’t have a tangy, soft and creamy goats’ cheese at the heart of it, and I had lots of fun experimenting with recipes that put it on its rightful pedestal. Yes, this is my fun – it was a great month.
A really good goats’ cheese has the power to transform even the most mundane of dishes, but one particular recipe has stood out, a recipe that produced what I’m inclined to label the most divine salad EVER. A bold claim I know, but believe me, this salad has the goods to back it up.
This salad features freshly podded English broad beans, that most summery of bean that’s just about clinging onto its season and still yielding stunning results. Blanched and skinned, the broad beans are scattered on a bed of peppery watercress, drizzled with a garlic, lemon and chilli dressing and finished off with a generous crumble of goats’ cheese. Every mouthful is a joy – a combination of the sweet, freshness of the beans; the rich, tangy creaminess of the goats’ cheese and the sharp, piquant nature of the dressing. Pop down to your local cheese counter, spend a little bit more on a knock-out goats’ cheese and concoct this salad. You won’t regret it.
RECIPE: Broad bean and goats’ cheese salad
You’ll need (for two):
500g broad beans
100g goats’ cheese (the more special, the better! My favourite was Dorstone goats’ cheese from The Courtyard Dairy)
1 small red chilli or equivalent (use whichever type you like, depending on how much heat you can stand!)
1 clove garlic
1 packet of watercress
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
- Pod broad beans and blanch for 3 minutes
- Remove broad beans from heat, rinse with cold water and skin
- Finely chop chilli and crush garlic
- Whisk extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice together, add chilli and garlic and season
- Roughly chop goats’ cheese or crumble.
- Add broad beans and goats’ cheese to a bed of watercress (1/2 pack per person), drizzle over the dressing and mix.
- Serve on its own or with garlic bread if you’re feeling hungry!