Creamy Goat’s Cheese Baked in Vine Leaves with Winter Salad

Serves 2

By the delicious team

Takes 10 minutes to make, 15 minutes to cook, plus soaking Creating a seductive meal for two? This goat’s cheese starter is a great way to get in the mood. Unwrap at the table.

Ingredients

  • 4 vine leaves in brine (we like Cypressa, from Turkish and Middle Eastern grocers or theasiancookshop.co.uk), rinsed well in cold water ─ or see tip
  • Melted butter for brushing
  • 30g walnut halves
  • 2 small crottins de chèvre goat’s cheeses
  • 4 tsp dry sherry
  • Slices of toasted apple sourdough (or ordinary sourdough) to serve
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 large pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small radicchio, leaves separated

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Gently dry the vine leaves, then lay one flat on a work surface and partially overlap by about one-third, side by side, with a second. Repeat with the other 2 vine leaves.
  2. Brush the vine leaves with melted butter and set aside. Whizz the walnuts in a small food processor until coarsely ground. Brush the goat’s cheeses with a little melted butter, then roll them in the ground walnuts to coat. Put a cheese in the centre of each pair of vine leaves, then sprinkle with the dry sherry.
  3. Bring the vine leaves up around each cheese to form a parcel and secure with string or cocktail sticks. Put on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the salad. Whisk the garlic, vinegar, sugar and seasoning together, then gradually whisk in the oils. Toss with the pear and radicchio, then set aside.
  5. Serve the crottins of goat’s cheese, still in their vine leaves, on top of slices of warm toasted sourdough and the salad, to be unwrapped at the table.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 554kcals, 48.6g fat (17.9g saturated), 16.2g protein, 0.6g carbs, 9.8g sugar, 2.2g salt

Chef’s tip

If you can’t get hold of vine leaves, you can wrap the goat’s cheese in baking paper. 

Wine Recommendation

You could opt for the safe and traditional match for chevre ─ French Sauvignon Blanc. An interesting alternative would be chilled Chenin Blanc, which brings an apple and nut flavour into play.