Baked goat's cheese vine leaves with asparagus and broad bean salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Vine leaves usually have that slimy look, as most of the ones we come across in delis and uninspiring restaurants are straight out of a can. Inside them you'll seldom find anything more exciting than rice. If you have your own grape vine at home, pick large leaves and blanch them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Otherwise buy leaves in flat vacuum packs and all you have to do is wash them. Stuffing the leaves isn't difficult, either. They can be filled with spiced minced meat mixed with crumbs, rice or cracked wheat, or chopped prawns, or, as I've done here, goat's cheese. Feta or goat's curd is fine, or any soft cheese come to that.

Vine leaves usually have that slimy look, as most of the ones we come across in delis and uninspiring restaurants are straight out of a can. Inside them you'll seldom find anything more exciting than rice. If you have your own grape vine at home, pick large leaves and blanch them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Otherwise buy leaves in flat vacuum packs and all you have to do is wash them. Stuffing the leaves isn't difficult, either. They can be filled with spiced minced meat mixed with crumbs, rice or cracked wheat, or chopped prawns, or, as I've done here, goat's cheese. Feta or goat's curd is fine, or any soft cheese come to that.

4 vine leaves, see above
150g fresh goat's cheese (not matured)
Olive oil for brushing

for the salad

450-500g green medium asparagus
120g shelled weight of small broad beans
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
8 quality black olives, stoned and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF/gas mark 6. Cut the goat's cheese into four equal sizes, place each in the centre of a vine leaf and wrap up like a parcel. Cut the woody ends from the asparagus and cook the tips in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Cook the broad beans in the same water for 2-3 minutes until tender and drain. If the broad beans are large, the skins can be removed as they tend to be a little tough.

Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together with the tomatoes and black olives and shallots, and season. Cut the asparagus tips in half across their length and add them to the broad beans in a bowl, then mix with the tomato and olive dressing and arrange on plates.

Meanwhile brush the goat's cheese parcels lightly with olive oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. With a spatula or palette knife transfer one on to each salad while still hot.

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