Glorious goat's-cheese recipes

Date:10-05-2014 07:58:07 read:0

Glorious goat's-cheese recipes

A classic salad, pizza, pasta, even pudding… A versatile ingredient, then? You’re not kidding


I still find it hard to believe I can visit Paris and eat in a good restaurant. In my twenties all I could afford were those listed in Miles Turner’s Paupers’ Paris. This slim volume took me to far-flung métro stations for dinners that cost seven francs (extravagant then). The names of the restaurants lured as much as the food, which is how I ended up in Le Temps des Cerises eating my first ever salade de chèvre chaud. A plateful of bitter leaves dressed with walnut oil, topped with grilled rounds of tangy goat’s cheese, it was love at first bite.

I’d never heard of goat’s cheese. Now every supermarket offers half a dozen types. But it doesn’t evoke passion the way a gooey reblochon or great cheddar does. The classic goat’s-cheese salad has been much traduced by foodies, but my love has endured. The clean taste, the sharp tang – goat’s cheeses make perfect spring and summer eating.

They present so many subtle variations in taste and texture, some firm, others crumbly, chalky or creamy. Their flavours range from honeyed and floral to tangy and sour, right the way through to gamey, with a marked “goatiness”. The type you choose depends on how strong a flavour you want, and how much heat will be applied. Very strong goat’s cheese would overwhelm the pesto below, so choose a tangy, creamy one. Avoid very moist goat’s cheese on pizza, as it will turn to liquid in the heat.

Names to look out for are Tymsboro and Ragstone, both English. Ragstone is log-shaped and snowy white, has a medium tang and dense texture, and is perfect in tarts. (Rind on, please!) Tymsboro, a grey pyramid, is firm but creamy. Both taste “goaty” without being strong and go well with honey, figs, a dollop of gooseberry compote or a glass of sauvignon blanc. Goat’s curd is harder to find but you can make it (really, it’s such a thrill). All you need is rennet, curiosity and some asparagus or honey with which to pair it.

Goat’s cheeses are at their best now, so it’s a perfect time to explore. Some will continue to age through to October, but most should be eaten young. So now you can make a really good goat’s-cheese salad. Or something even a “foodie” might like…

Glorious goat's-cheese recipes...

Goat’s cheese, spelt, wild rice, peas, beans and asparagus salad

Fig and goat’s-cheese pizza

Goat’s curd, baked apricots and honeyed almonds

Fettuccine with goat’s-cheese pesto and roast tomatoes

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