Strawberry and goat’s cheese

Sweet, salty and sticky meet in this salad with delicious results.

Strawberry and goat’s cheese salad. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Strawberry and goat’s cheese salad. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Thu, Sep 5, 2013, 13:56

   
  • Cooking Time: 5 mins
  • Course: Salad
  • Cuisine: Irish

Ingredients

  • Serves 4-6
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 punnets strawberries, hulled
  • 2 good tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Good squeeze honey or maple syrup
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 small red onion
  • Big bunch basil
  • Black pepper
  • TO MAKE THE BALSAMIC SYRUP:
  • 200mls balsamic vinegar
  • Sprig rosemary
  • Good squeeze honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthways. Then, using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds. Slice the cucumber into thin slices so you get half moons.

Cut the strawberries in half and gently toss them in the olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Do this in the bowl you will serve them in. Then scatter the cucumber around the dish. Add the goat’s cheese, which you should crumble, and a sprinkling of onion and basil. Give a light mix and then drizzle with your balsamic syrup and serve.

This will go quite mushy quickly, so assemble close to when you want to eat it, although you can have some of the prep done. Just don’t toss the strawberries with the olive oil and lemon juice until the last minute, but you can certainly hull them and prep the cucumber and have the balsamic syrup ready.

To make the balsamic syrup, heat up the balsamic vinegar and sprig of rosemary, very gently until simmering. You really need to keep an eye on it.

Reduce it down by a third and then remove from the heat, discard the rosemary and whisk in the honey or maple syrup and olive oil.

But be warned, once it starts to reduce, it’s a slippery slope to becoming burnt, so take it handy with the heat.