21 April 2013

Homemade Thyme and Rosemary Soda Bread with a Caramelised Goats Cheese and Raspberry Salad

I was recently very lucky to be whisked away to Madrid for a long weekend.
I fell in love with the way of life there, the huge green parks filled with families on the rowings boats in the sun and especially the food.
Everything is so relaxed- they get up late, spend the afternoon having a long lunch full of spanish red wine and tapas and then siesta before meeting friends for a late evening supper and sangria- sounds pretty perfect to me!

I think tapas is  a great idea- it means you get to try a bit of everything rather than ending up with incredibly frustrating food envy when you see what everyone else has ordered!

We had some really delicious tapas in some of the restaurants in Madrid, especially their cured meats and spicy chorizo as well as tangy olives and the best fresh stringy mozzarella I think I have ever tasted!
But one of the ingredients that appears loads in spanish tapas dishes is goats cheese. I've always been a fan of the slight tartness to goats cheese and how delicious it is when paired with sweet caramelised onions or chutney.

So when I got back I had a serious craving for some more goats cheese and thought of this simple salad of melted, gooey, caramelised goats cheese with a raspberry and balsamic dressing with walnuts, all on top of some homemade crusty soda bread. 

This is a very slightly adapted version of Paul Hollywood's recipe for soda bread, recently shown on his new BBC TV series.
If, like me, you're a novice at bread making, this bread is perfect for you as it's so simple and quick to make and doesn't require any kneading or proving time. 

This is because soda breads use bicarbonate of soda as the raising agent instead of yeast and so the bicarbonate reacts instantly with the acidic buttermilk. 
I've added fresh rosemary and thyme to mine but you could flavour it with whatever you wish. 

Soda Bread:

250g plain wholemeal flour
250g plain white flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
420ml buttermilk
small bunch thyme
large bunch rosemary

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
In a large bowl, mix together the two types of flour, bicarb, freshly chopped herbs and the salt. 

Add the buttermilk and mix with your hands till a sticky dough forms. 

Lightly flour the work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Next fold the dough a few times to bring it together but don't knead it. Shape into a ball and then flatten gently with your hand. Using a sharp knife score a deep cross into the bread that will help it to rise outwards and give it its distinctive look. 

Here you can see the formation of the structure of the bread.

Bake on a lined baking tray for 30 minutes until golden brown and then leave to cool on a wire rack. 

To make the goats cheese salad:(for 2 people)

125g raspberries
1/2 dessert spoon caster sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Small squeeze of lemon juice
2 round goats cheeses
Bag of lambs lettuce
50g walnuts
Balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry balsamic)
Olive oil
1 small raw beetroot

Put a frying pan onto a high heat and add in the walnuts, crushed into small pieces. Toast them without any oil for about 3-5 minutes until golden. Be sure to watch them as they can burn very quickly!

Next, in a small bowl crush 70g of the raspberries into a fine pulp using a fork to release all the juices and stir in the caster sugar, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. 

Meanwhile put your grill on a high heat and cut the tops of the goats cheese to reveal the gooey inside. Season them well with salt and pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil and then grill for 10-15 minutes until bubbling,golden and soft the whole way through. 

On your serving plate, top a piece of the soda bread with a large serving of lambs lettuce and the grilled goats cheese. Sprinkle over the walnuts and the rest of the fresh raspberries. Peel and finely slice the raw beetroot and add to the salad and then drizzle over some of the raspberry coulis and a little balsamic and olive oil. 


  1. Looks delicious and perfect for spring! Such an inventive recipe, I'm sure it works super well altogether. I'm happy to hear you had such a nice weekend in Madrid :)x x

    1. Thank you! I absolutely love Madrid and am planning my return trip! Some of the food markets there are amazing! xxx

  2. You always post the most delicious looking recipies! I love goats cheese!

    Teffy X


  3. Thank you! Glad you like it! I love goats cheese too especially when it's all gooey in the middle- I'm a huge fan of melted camembert too! xx

  4. This looks delicious! I normally am quite opposed to goats cheese (despite being French - odd I know) but this makes me want to eat it despite that! Especially caramelised!

    And I read that you're at Edinburgh university, that's amazing, I'm looking at unis now and it looks incredible, what subject do you study? I'm looking into Architecturexx

    1. Thank you!
      Ah that's so exciting that you're looking into uni's now! It took me ages to choose! Edinburgh is such an awesome city to study architecture as it has some of the most amazing buildings! have you visited before? If you're looking at a course there , then you are very welcome to email me with any questions etc and I'll see if I can help out! xxx

    2. I don't blame you its so hard to pick, but Edinburgh is so beautiful and I've heard so many good things about it! No, I've never been before but I think I might fly there on a mini holiday for the open day as I really want to have a look. Thank you so much! I'm sure I'll think of a few questionsxxx

    3. It really is such a beautiful city and you don't feel like you're in a huge city because of the amazing scenery around it! Yes you should definitely visit it or come to the Fringe festival in August which has a really good atmosphere! I'll try help you out with any Q's:) xxx

    4. Omg the Fringe Festival sounds incredible, I'll have a look when the open days are and fingers crossed they'll be close to it! I love the idea of living in Scotland too, it does sound beautiful and for some reason I would love to spend a winter / autumn over there, it just seems like a great place to be aha! I'll email you my qu's soon, thanks! xxx

  5. Oh my goodness this looks delicious!!! I've never had goat cheese before though! I'll have to try that first!

    Ergo - Blog

    1. Thank you- I think once you first try it you'll get addicted! xxx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's really appreciated and lovely to hear some feedback. Katie x