Break-the-Lunchtime-Ennui Warm Goat’s Cheese Salad
Now that it’s starting to get a little colder I find myself going for soup and bread nearly every lunchtime and, whilst this is all well and lovely, I tend to get a little sick of soup after a few weeks (and my stomach kindly reminds me after a while that I shouldn’t be eating tons of bread, no matter how tasty it is). So, I have decided that I’m going to try and make warm salads this autumn/winter. They are blissfully – embarrassingly – simple and great for days off or weekends (and let’s be honest, they don’t have to be limited to lunches, they make great simple dinners too).
I’m so excited to try various ingredients like roasted pumpkin, caramelised pear or crispy pancetta (not necessarily all together!) at some point too, but this time I made a simple med veg with creamy goat’s cheese. I would say the recipe below is good for two people but, if more people end up staying for lunch, then obviously add more vegetables and cheese as you see fit. This dish also works nicely as a side to a piece of chicken or steak or whatever, really! Versatile little vegetables.
2 red peppers
12 baby tomatoes
2 small courgettes
125g goat’s cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Preheat your oven at about 140°.
Chop the ends off your peppers and clear out all the seeds and pith (which can be quite bitter and we want these nice and sweet to counter the goat’s cheese). Score a cross into the top of the tomatoes and chop the courgettes into centimetre thick rounds.
Put all the veg into a pan and drizzle two tablespoons of oil and a tablespoon of balsamic glaze over them. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt then get your hands stuck in there and give them a good mix together, coating them all nicely. Pop into the oven for around 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them, we don’t really want them charred or roasted, as such. You’re looking for a soft – tender – texture.
Empty out the rocket into a decent sized bowl.
Squeeze the juice out of half a lemon, add in a tablespoon of oil and half a tablespoon of balsamic glaze into a jug/ramekin. Beat it all together and drizzle over your rocket; once again, get your hands in there, giving it a really good mix.
After your veg has been cooking for 20 minutes or so, begin to cut up the goat’s cheese. It doesn’t have to be uniform pieces – it’ll more than likely crumble anyway! Take your vegetables out of the oven and sprinkle the cheese over them before popping it back in for a further 10 minutes.
Your goat’s cheese should look gooey, slightly melted and with the edges going a little translucent. Once it’s reached this stage take it all out of the oven and empty it into your bowl of rocket. Toss all the ingredients together and, if you’re a little addicted like I am , finish with a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve up and enjoy!