Tag Archives: goats cheese

Quinoa and Pumpkin Salad (or: Summer’s here. Let’s eat salad.)

Just a quick post because I instagrammed a picture of last night’s dinner and have never felt more popular with calls for the recipe. We weren’t planning on doing another goat’s cheese recipe so close on the other one but you have to give the people what they want.

This is a super simple salad but so tasty. Also, this basic concept has been changed numerous times depending on the season/what’s in the fridge/what looks good at the shops.

Quinoa & Pumpkin Salad

Serves 3 HUNGRY adults who enjoy eating as a main, would probably serve 4 or 5 less greedy adults as a main. Would serve MANY as a side.

  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin, cubed
  • oil (I used vegie as we were out of olive oil)
  • paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp ‘chicken’ stock powder (Even though I eat meat now, I tend to use the Massel stocks which are animal free and the actual tastiest.) (I also know this is more stock than the side of the tin tells you to use. Sue me, I like things extra tasty.)
  • 2 cobs corn, sliced off the actual cob bit (or use a can’s worth. We aren’t fussy around here.)
  • spring onion (we used one because we were harvesting from our small spring onion crop in the garden. Use as much as you enjoy. Or sub in onion or leek.)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme
  • chèvre or goat’s cheese of your choosing

Preheat oven to 180C and start cutting the skin of your pumpkin and cubing it up. Place it in a roasting dish and glug some oil over it and then sprinkle it with as much paprika as you desire. Toss everything so it get all covered in the oil and paprika. If you feel like it, some honey on the pumpkin could also be a taste sensation. (I forgot to do this.) Pop this is the oven and roast until soft i.e. however long it take you to do the rest of things. Check on it occasionally but it will be pretty happy to do its own thing.

Rinse the quinoa. I put mine in a fine sieve and run it under water for a couple of minutes. I know other people rinse their again and again but I find that one rinse is enough. Put the rinsed quinoa, water and stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. When it starts to boil, turn it all the way down to low and put the lid on. Leave for approx 20 minutes. (Quinoa can be fickle and you’ll need to check it — with your mouth — to make sure it isn’t messing you around.) When most of the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat, leave the lid on and put to one side until the rest of your salad is ready.

CHECK YOUR PUMPKIN. You can probably turn it off about now but you might as well leave it in the oven so you have more bench space until you need it.

Heat a smidge of oil and butter in a small saucepan and sauté the spring onion, corn and thyme whilst you get to work on your asparagus. Break off the woody ends (literally snap it at the bottom; it knows where to break) and throw them away, chop off the leafy end bits and then slice the rest of the stalks. Put the leafy end bits and the sliced stalk in with the corn and cook for a couple of minutes.

Now to assemble:

Find yourself a large bowl. If you are at our house, this is difficult as the usual one is full of lollies for trick or treaters tonight.

Put the quinoa and pumpkin in the bowl and mix the pumpkin through. It’ll break up as you do this so there with be some nice chunks of pumpkin but also smooshy pumpkin through the whole thing. Pour in your corn and stuff and mix that thorough.

Crumble as much chèvre as you desire on top.

Eat with abandon.

(Look, if you roasted some almonds and then chopped them roughly and sprinkled them over the top, I would totally be into that. In fact, see you at your place for dinner.)

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Goats Cheese Pastries (Or: cheese makes everything better, so three cheeses must mean excellence)

Cheese is delicious, and pastry makes everything better. I don’t need to convince you of this. So without further ado, recipe time!

Goats Cheese Pastries

Time: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking

Yield: nibbles for 10 as part of a spread

4 sheets puff pastry (store bought, or knock yourself out and make your own)
150 gms goats cheese
50 gms parmesan (grated)
50 gms cheddar (grated)
4 teaspoons of honey
2 tbsp chives (chopped in short lengths)
1 tbsp thyme (finely chopped, woody stalks removed)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 egg

Line two baking trays with baking paper. Preheat oven to 220C.

Prepping the pastry

Lay your four squares of pastry out on the bench while you prep the filling. Spread 1 tsp of honey onto each sheet, spread to the edge.

Cheese filling

In a small bowl, break the goats cheese up into smaller chunks, add parmesan and cheddar and pop in the microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.

Remove from microwave and add paprika, garlic, salt and pepper, chives and thyme. Mix really well, making sure the herbs are evenly through the mixture.

Assemble

Divide the cheese mixture between two of the sheets of pastry. Spread out to 1 cm before the edge.

Take each of the two sheets of pastry with only honey on them, and place one on top of each cheese covered sheet. Push down firmly and evenly to make a kind of pastry sandwich. Pop in the fridge for 10 minutes or so if you have time.

Egg wash

In a small bowl (I used the cheese mixture bowl, and I didn’t even wash it out – REBEL), whisk the egg with a little salt and pepper until the yolk and white are all combined.

For straws

Using one of the pastry “sandwiches”, take a sharp knife and cut long strips about 1 cm wide. hold firmly at the top and bottom of the strip and twist, being careful to keep the mixture between the sheets of pastry as you twist.

Lay twisted pastry onto baking sheet pressing each end down onto the tray slightly (to stop them from untwisting). Leave at least 1 cm between each stick and using a pastry brush, cover with egg wash. Repeat until the tray is full, bake in 220C oven for 15 – 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them. When they are golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.

For scrolls

With the other pastry sandwich, cover the top with egg wash using your pastry brush. Starting with the side closest to you, roll away from yourself, gently keeping the roll quite tight. press the end down firmly. Place roll in fridge for 15 minutes to firm up if you have time, or live life on the edge and cut it into 1 cm thick slices and lay flat on the other baking tray. Leave about 2 cms between each round to allow for puffing. Repeat until the tray is full, bake in 220C oven for 15 – 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them. When they are golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.

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