Jun Tanaka-crisp baked goats cheese with pears and chicory

Starters & Salads, Vegetarian

Have you ever brought a loaf of bread and not quite finished it before the last pieces start to go stale? Well, this recipe is a fantastic way of using up all those last slices. At Pearl I fill the goat’s cheese with slices of truffle for a truly decadent experience.

Ingredients

SERVES 4

8 slices white bread

2 medium free range egg yolks

1 Caramelised pears, chicory and grilled goat’s cheese recipe

4 fresh basil leaves

100 g unsalted butter, melted

25 g black or white sesame seeds

Method

1 Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200 ºC.

2 Using a round cutter slightly larger than the goat’s cheese, cut eight circles out of four of the slices of bread. With a rolling pin, roll out the other four slices of bread until thin. Cut off the crusts with a knife and cut each rolled square of bread into two equal sized rectangles.

3 To wrap each goat’s cheese, use a pastry brush to brush one side of a bread circle and rectangle with egg yolk. Repeat with a second bread circle and rectangle. This will help to stick the bread on to the goat’s cheese. Take a leaf of basil and place on top of a cheese. Put the two egg-washed circles of bread on the top and bottom of the cheese. Take one of the rectangles and wrap around the cheese with the egg-washed side touching the cheese. Use the other rectangle to completely encase the goat’s cheese. They should overlap slightly – make sure it’s well sealed. Dip in the melted butter and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Repeat the process with the other cheeses. Once they’re all wrapped and dipped, place on a baking tray and cook for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown.

4 While the cheeses are baking in the oven, cook the caramelised pears and dress the chicory and watercress. Serve immediately with the baked goat’s cheeses.

TIP Once the cheeses are wrapped and dipped in the melted butter, they will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days. Very handy for dinner parties if you’re not sure whether there are any vegetarians. Instead of using a leaf of basil, try using sun-dried tomatoes or piquillo peppers.

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