Grilled goat's cheese salad

    25 min

    Crisp toasted French bread is spread with a rich red onion marmalade flavoured with balsamic vinegar and rosemary, then topped with creamy goat's cheese and finished under the grill. Served with a beetroot, pepper and lamb's lettuce salad, this makes an impressive starter.

    5 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 small red onions, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, thinly sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • 4 slices French bread, about 115 g (4 oz) in total
    • few sprigs of fresh rosemary
    • 200 g (7 oz) goat's cheese, cut into 4 slices
    • 85 g (3 oz) lamb's lettuce
    • 115 g (4 oz) cooked beetroot, peeled and cut into thin strips
    • 1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
    • salt and pepper
    • Balsamic dressing
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

    Prep:25min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. Preheat the grill. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sugar, and cook for a further 5–8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft, browned and caramelised. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
    2. Lightly toast the French bread on both sides under the grill. Divide the onion marmalade among the slices. Top each with a few rosemary leaves and then a slice of goat's cheese. Add a sprinkling of pepper.
    3. Cook the cheesy toasts under the hot grill for 3–4 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
    4. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk the oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl. Add the lamb's lettuce, beetroot and red pepper and toss. Divide among 4 plates. Top with the goat's cheese toasts, garnish with rosemary and serve.

    Some more ideas

    Try baby spinach or baby red chard leaves in place of lamb's lettuce. * Instead of onion marmalade, rub the slices of toasted French bread with 1 cut garlic clove, then spread with 4 tsp sun-dried tomato paste. Top with the goat's cheese and grill. Serve with a salad made from 1 small Oak Leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces, 225 g (8 oz) halved cherry tomatoes and 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips, tossed in a dressing made with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste and seasoning to taste. Garnish the toasts with fresh basil leaves. * Top the toast slices with goat's cheese and add a drizzle of walnut or hazelnut oil (omit the onion marmalade and rosemary). Grill, then serve on a bed of mixed green salad leaves tossed with toasted walnuts or hazelnuts and a vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil and a little walnut or hazelnut oil.

    Plus points

    Beetroot is a good source of folate, which is needed during the early stages of pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida. It is also rich in potassium, a good intake of which can help to balance out the adverse effect of a high salt intake on blood pressure. The leafy tops of beetroot can be cooked and served like spinach. * Red onions have been shown to contain higher levels of flavonoids – compounds that may help to protect against heart disease – than white onions.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, niacin * B2, folate * calcium, selenium

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