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.
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.
250g plain wholemeal flour
250g plain white flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
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.
1/2 dessert spoon caster sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Small squeeze of lemon juice
2 round goats cheeses
Bag of lambs lettuce
Balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry balsamic)
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.