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Capricorn Goats Cheese and Pears:
A few days ago I was sent a fabulous hamper of goodies from Ethel the Goat who lives somewhere in the depths of Somerset and who produces the fabulous Capricorn Somerset goat’s cheese. She can be quite a tough old goat at times but, she clearly knows how to shop! She has challenged me to make something nice and appetising using some of her cheese along with a few of the other ingredients in the hamper or that I happen to fancy adding in.
So, for starters and since there was ciabatta in the hamper along with some walnuts and pears, I thought I’d have a go at making MY version of a bruschetta that I tried in Tuscany. And since I found some rather lovely Tuscan cashmere goats I thought it only fitting I tried the recipe with some of Ethel’s finest. The bruschetta involves cheese and pears and honey…and in my case I decided to make some honeyed walnuts too, because well, just because I wanted to try and I thought they’d add just that little bit of extra crunch!
The bruschetta were wonderful. A perfect light lunch dish or first course with some salad. And, the honeyed walnuts were a perfect complement for the slightly acid pear and piquant goats cheese.
So, here’s what I did
- 6 medium slices Good Quality Rustic Bread I used Ciabatta but any rustic bread that can be sliced will work
- 1 clove Garlic Peeled and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 3-4 sprigs Thyme
- 1 Capricorn Goats Cheese
- 1 Pear
- 100 g Walnuts
- 20 ml Honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
- To make the honeyed walnuts, preheat the oven to 180c and line a baking tray with parchment
- Gently warm the honey in a small pan till very liquid and almost simmering
- Stir the chilli powder into the honey
- Now stir the walnuts into the honey/chilli mix and stir to coat all the nuts thoroughly
- Spread the walnuts out on the baking parchment and put in the oven for 10 minutes till the nuts are slightly darkened
- Take the mixture out and spoon the nuts onto a new sheet of baking parchment to cool. Don't skip this step or you will end up with a gloopy mass of nuts all stuck together!
- Allow to cool completely till the honey is hardened, then transfer into an airtight tin.
- To make the bruschetta, first rub the bread with the cut side of the garlic
- Now smear a little olive oil onto both sides of the bread
- Heat the grill
- Grill the bread on one side
- Make up the bruschetta by layering slices of goats cheese onto each slice of bread. Sprinkle a few thyme leaves onto the cheese and season with a little pepper
- Using a mandolin or parmesan shaver, slice VERY thin slices of pears and top the cheese and thyme with these
- Place under the hot grill and cook till the cheese is melting and the pear has softened
- Top with honeyed walnuts and drizzle a tiny amount of honey onto each bruschetta
- Serve while still warm
Now, I do think I’ll try making these again. And, the honeyed walnuts are really very moreish too. They’d work well with some goats cheese in a salad (and they are pretty good to just nibble on!). So thank you Ethel for such a lovely challenge. The main course will follow tomorrow!