Put together by Colm in our New Antrim St. cafe, this salad was a starter option for our Mother’s day menu. He used the wonderful St Tola original log for this recipe. Siobhan and the team at St Tola make a wonderful range of Goat’s cheese from their farm in Inagh, County Clare. If you’d rather avoid the process of whipping the cheese, you could also use a lighter variety such as their tubs of St Tola ‘DIVINE’ which is a much lighter, curd-style variety. Of course, feel free to use other Irish Goat’s cheese such as the cheese from Galway Goat’s farm. We stock all these varieties in our shop on Spencer St.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with greens in the coming weeks, and we managed to get some lovely purple sprouting broccoli from the crew at Glasraí, but a stem broccoli would also work as well. Good quality asparagus will be available around May, and also works well for the salad.
Chargrilled Greens and ‘whipped’ St Tola Goat’s Cheese salad with Romesco
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 for a starter
For the Romesco sauce
- 100g roasted walnuts
- 4 red peppers roasted, skins removed
- ½ teaspoon of chopped garlic
- 1 dessert spoon sherry vinegar
- Olive oil to loosen
- Whipped goats
- 200g Irish goat’s cheese
- 70 ml cream
- Greens (Stem Brocolli, PSB or asparagus all work well)
- Roast and skin your peppers.
- Reserve the oil, and blitz all other ingredients in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. With the blade running, add some olive oil to loosen the mix. The sauce will keep well in your fridge covered for up to a week.
- Whip the goat’s cheese and cream in a processor on high speed until smooth (30-45 seconds). Do not over whip it will become grainy
- Blanch or steam your greens for 2 minutes and then chill immediately by placing in a bowl of iced or cold water.Drain and reserve
- Get your chargrill up to temp
- Put a small amount of olive oil onto your vegetables and toss to coat them( it’s very important not to oil the grill pan as it will end up frying the veg rather than charring them)
- Place your vegetables on the hot chargrill for 1 minute on either side
- Remove the vegetables and lightly season with salt
Assemble your salad and serve with some nice bread and something lovely to drink.
It’s wild garlic time of the year again and we always try and post a few recipes to celebrate one our of favourite wild ingredients.
We were very flattered that the mighty Jess Murphy from KAI featured a reworking of our Wild Garlic Soda bread in last week’s ‘Food and Wine’ magazine in the Sunday Business Post and, frankly, made it better. Jess recommends the inclusion of a good Irish farmhouse cheese and recommended Mayo’s own ‘Barr Rua’ (no relation) from Dozio cheese makers or over the border for some deliciously nutty ‘Kylemore’.
Jess also brought to our attention the wonderful ‘Little Mill’ flour from Co Kilkenny, which we hope to be getting in stock at the shop real soon. Getting out there in the lashing rain and finding some wild garlic is all part of the buzz, but if you can’t arsed, we’ve also got some in the shop. Spread with lots of Irish butter and as Jess says, ‘It’s heaven on a plate’.
Wild Garlic Soda Bread
- 450 g plain white flour, preferably from The Little Mill, plus a little extra for dusting
- 5 g Achill Island Sea salt
- 5 g bread soda, sieved into flour
- 400 ml of (Cuinneog) buttermilk
- A handful of wild garlic leaves, washed
- 150g Dozio Barr Rua cheese, Kylemore or Cooolatin cheddar , gratedButter to serve
- Preheat your oven to 220C
- Sieve all dry ingredients into the bowl.
- Lightly chop the wild garlic and add into the buttermilk
- Add the cheese to the dry ingredients, then pour in the buttermilk.
- Use your hand to lightly mix the ingredients until they just come together, then dust your counter with flour and tip out the dough.
- Shape into one ball, cut a cross on top and then place on a floured tray and place into the oven.
- Reduce the temperature to 190C and bake for around 30 minutes. You can also make several savoury scones with the dough, instead of one large one and cook in the same way.
It’s still a wee bit early for the supply of the outdoor Irish rhubarb, but we’ve got hold of some forced rhubarb to try out a few recipes so you’re ready to get stuck in when there’s a more plentiful supply. Incidentally, there’s a fab producer of forced (and outdoor) Rhubarb now in Dublin that you may have seen on RTE’s Nationwide, ‘Ryan’s Rhubarb’. Check out their site and social media for more great ideas with rhubarb.
Here’s a couple of our own recipes to get you going…
Rhubarb & Almond Cake
Purists will probably want nothing else except a Rhubarb tart, but this is a lovely and elegant dessert that is surprisingly nice for breakfast with a strong coffee. The addition of cream or créme fraiche with a slice is a very good idea.
- 350g Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 150g butter, softened
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 75g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 100g ground almonds
- Grated zest of 1 small orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
- 25g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Grease a round 23cm springform cake tin and line its base with baking parchment. Place the rhubarb in a bowl and cover with 50g of the sugar. Leave for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- With an electric whisk, beat together the remaining sugar and the butter, then whisk in the eggs. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds, then stir in the orange zest and juice.
- Stir the rhubarb and its sugary juices into the cake mixture and spoon into the prepared tin. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4 and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold, with softly whipped cream, crème fraiche or custard.
This is a great recipe for a myriad of uses. Essentially, it’s a lightly flavoured rhubarb compote, but it’s a less aggressive way of making it rather than running the risk of stewing it in a saucepan.
Serve it for breakfast with your porridge, granola or even french toast. For dessert, it’s delicious in a cream sponge or as a sideshow to a panna cotta or rice pudding. For the savoury buzz, it goes great with oily fish like mackerel or even roast pork instead of apples.
- 500-660 g Rhubarb cut into finger size pieces
- 125 g caster sugar
- Juice and zest of ½ an orange
- Scraped vanilla pod
- Piece of fresh ginger
- Star anise
- Stick of cinnamon
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse the rhubarb and shake off the excess water. Trim the ends and cut the rhubarb into little finger-sized pieces. Put the rhubarb in a shallow dish or baking sheet with sides, tip the sugar over, toss together, then shuffle the rhubarb so it’s in a single layer. Grate orange and add vanilla seeds and orange juice if including.
- Cover with foil and roast for 12-15 mins. Remove the foil. The sugar should have dissolved – test the rhubarb with a knife – looking for tender, not mushy. If it’s not quite there, give everything a little shake and roast for another few minutes with the foil off.