- For the goats’ cheese;
- 300g Organic St Tola soft
- 1 sheet of puff pastry 28cm/16cm
- 1 egg whisked, small amount for brushing
- 8 medium figs
- 1tsp caster sugar
- For the nuts;
- 12 walnuts (peeled)
- 12 hazelnuts (peeled)
- 4 tablespoons of flaked almonds
- For the fig puree;
- 20ml sherry vinegar
- 40ml water
- 1 clove
- ½ star anise
- 1tspg caster sugar
- 6 dried figs, roughly chopped
- To serve;
- 50g caster sugar
- 100g rocket, washed and dried
- 100g frisse lettuce, washed and dried
- 1tblsp olive oil
- Maldon salt to taste
This is a fantastic and simple salad that will impress at any dinner party. The marriage of figs, nuts and goats cheese are perfect together. St Tola is an organic goat’s cheese produced in the West of Ireland near County Claire’s Atlantic coast in the town land of Inagh. This cheese has achieved critical acclaim since its launch over 25 years ago. All the artisan cheeses produced by St Tola are handmade.
Do try to find St Tola for this recipe but if you can’t substitute with another high quality goats cheese that you like.
Pre heat the oven to 180c.
For the goats’ cheese;
Place a double layer of cling film onto a work surface. Crumble the goat’s cheese into small pieces onto double sheet of cling film. Roll the goats’ cheese into thin cylinder approx 5cm in diameter. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, so that the goats’ cheese will hold its shape when cut.
You don’t have to do this stage of the recipe with the goats’ cheese; it is purely for presentation purposes. If you wish to save time the goats’ cheese can simply be sliced and glazed and there will be no flavour lost from the dish at all.
For the fig tart;
Cut puff pastry into 4 rectangles each 4cm/7cmin size. Lay the pastry onto a non stick pan and brush with the beaten egg. Slice 4 figs into 4 slices each and cut the other 4 figs in half. Reserve the fig halves until ready to serve. Prick the pastry sheets several times with a fork. Place 4 slices of figs onto each puff pastry rectangle and place in the fridge for 30mins-1hour to allow the pastry to relax before cooking. Cook the tarts in the pre heated oven on non stick tray for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on a cooling rack until ready to serve. You can prepare the tarts to this stage earlier in the day and just pop back into the oven for 3-4mins when you are ready to serve. If you are preparing them earlier in the day then keep them covered on the cooling rack in the kitchen. Do not store them in the fridge as the pastry will not have that fresh buttery taste.
For the nuts;
Individually place nuts into cold pan then place on medium heat and roast until nice and golden or alternatively place on individual tray and toast under a hot grill. Be care when toasting you nuts as they can burn very quickly. Not all of the nuts need to be used in this recipe, just select you’re favourite.
For the fig compote;
Place everything in a saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the compote is a thick jam consistency. Remove from the heat and blend to a smooth puree, pass through a sieve. Allow to cool and store in the fridge ready for use.
Cut the goat’s cheese into 20 small cylinders, place onto a metal tray and sprinkle with caster sugar. Glaze the top of each cylinder with a blow torch until golden brown. Place 5 cylinders per plate onto 4 serving plates. Spoon dots of the chilled fig puree between the goats’ cheese cylinders.
Place a fig tart into the middle of each serving plate.
Take the remaining fig halves and sprinkle with a little caster sugar, glaze with a blow torch until the sugar has caramelised. Place 2 halves on each plate.
Garnish the plates with the toasted nuts and lettuce leaves then drizzle with olive oil. Season each plate with a little Maldon salt and serve.