Baked Goats’ Cheese with Tomato and Rosemary Syrup
juice of 1 lemon
1 green apple (Granny Smith is ideal), peeled, cored and diced
3 tbsp brown sugar
120ml white wine
2 rosemary sprigs
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
a big round of soft goats’ cheese (rulo de cabra in Spain)
handful of flat-leaf parsley
Heat the grill to medium. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Drop the tomatoes into the water for 1 minute, then drain them and refresh in a bowl of iced water. One by one remove the tomatoes from the water and squeeze them out of their skins. Discard the skins, cut into wedges, remove the seeds and transfer them to a large saucepan. Add the lemon juice, diced apples, sugar, white wine and 1 sprig of rosemary. Place the pan over a low heat for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the apples are beginning to caramelise. Add the sherry vinegar and reduce for 10 minutes until it thickens. When it is like a thick sauce, remove from the heat. Press the mixture through a sieve, discard the pulp and set the syrup aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes until beginning to turn golden, then remove them and set aside to cool. Crush the walnuts in your hands and sprinkle on a baking tray. Set the cheese round on top of the walnuts and place under the grill for 10 minutes or until the cheese begins to turn golden and melt. Carefully transfer the cheese to a serving plate, drizzle some tomato syrup over the cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the pool of magical melted pleasure.
Extracted from Joel Serra’s Modern Spanish Kitchen (Robinson, approx €22).