You do not get a dish much easier than this roasted Fig and Goats Cheese Salad but that doesn't mean it will not taste fantastic, it does! Perfect for easy entertaining, it takes just minutes to prepare and cook but looks really pretty.
I love this sort of dish, easy to prepare and cook but tasting amazing, as the flavour of the ingredients are allowed to shine. Creamy goats cheese and a scattering of crunchy hazelnuts give the dish a variety of textures. The balsamic vinegar gives a contrasting flavour to the soft sweet fig, so that all the flavours and textures work well together. For a vegetarian starter then the dish is complete with just a light seasoning of salt and pepper.
Is also works really well topped off with parma ham which adds just enough saltiness to the dish to avoid further seasoning. Best of all it takes just minutes to prepare and 15 minutes in the oven to cook.
Fig and Goats Cheese Salad
- 50 g blanched hazelnuts
- 6 figs
- 200 g soft goats cheese
- handful rocket leaves
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar to drizzle
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 slices Parma ham (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan)/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for 5-6 minutes until pale golden, then coarsely chop and set aside.
- Cut the figs into quarters, from the top almost to the base, and place on the baking sheet. Divide the goat's cheese equally between the figs placing in the centre of each fig.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and tinged brown.
- Meanwhile, place a few rocket leaves on each serving plate. Place a fig in the centre of each plate. Scatter a few chopped hazelnuts over the plate and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Season with a little pepper and top with a slice of Parma ham if using. Serve immediately.
Now all you need is the perfect wine to serve with the starter. Last summer, the lovely people at Le Petit Ballon sent me one of their monthly subscription boxes (You can read my review here) and they have now very kindly sent me their December Grape Expectations Box to try. December's box contained a bottle of Château des Bois Macon Milly-Lamartine Chardonnay 2015 and a Bindi Sergadi La Bonica 2016.
The chardonnay which had a lovely light citrus flavour with a buttery finish would work really well with this starter and the Le Bonica Chianti would go really well with roast turkey (as well as lamb, cold meats, and pizza). The fig and goats cheese salad would make a great Christmas day starter to serve with this wine selection.
I have now tried four of the Le Petit Ballon wines and have really enjoyed every one. (We drank the Chianti with Spaghetti Bolognese and it was the perfect accompaniment). I love the fact that each month subscription boxes come with really helpful and easy to understand tasting notes.
On one side there are some details about the wine and the area it is produced, as well as keynotes to indicate the style of the wine, what temperature it is best served at and whether or not it should be decanted and for how long. Finally, there is a suggestion for its perfect food partner. On the other side, it gives other suggestions as to what food to serve the wine with, details of the grape variety, keeping potential, alcohol content etc and some tasting notes.
If you wanted you could use these notes to impress your friends with your wine knowledge or like me just make sure you serve the wine at its best. I love matching wines to food and seeing if I have got it right or not, and these notes take a lot of the guess work out of that.
A subscription to The Grape Expectation Selection costs £24.90 a month and the Age of Raisin Selection £39.90 a month (you can skip a month or cancel at any time). Gift cards for 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions are also available. I know I would love to find one of those underneath the Christmas tree!
I have been given one wine subscription box for the purpose of reviewing. As always, all opinions expressed are my own and I will only ever recommend products I would, and do, genuinely like myself and that I think are a good fit with Recipes Made Easy.