NO BUTTS ABOUT HOW GOAT CHEESE LIFTS THIS DISH

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE - WEEKENDCOO­K WORDS:MAGGIECOOP­ER mag­gies.col­[email protected]­pond.com

When I was a kid — wait for it — we’d never even heard of goat cheese (see what I did there?).

All we seemed to have was what my Ital­ian friend Anna refers to as ‘salty plas­tic’; by that she means the nasty pro­cessed near-taste­less ched­dar that, back in the day, didn’t re­quire re­frig­er­a­tion.

Now we have ac­cess to so many fab­u­lous cheese va­ri­eties and more than just a few are made right here in Aus­tralia (praise be). I con­fess I have a weak­ness for just about all of them, the more ‘fra­grant’ the bet­ter.

Even the stuff that smells like dirty socks finds its way to my ta­ble.

We can eas­ily get Aus­tralian dairy prod­ucts now sourced from so many an­i­mals, in­clud­ing the afore­men­tioned goats.

The cheese made from goat milk has a flavour quite a bit stronger than – and dif­fer­ent to – that made from cow milk. It has a char­ac­ter­is­tic tart flavour that hap­pens to com­ple­ment the flavour of the fresh, ripe straw­ber­ries in to­day’s recipe.

STRAW­BERRY AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD Serves: 4 IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

4 cups torn salad leaves, washed and dried; 1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed and dried; 1 pun­net straw­ber­ries, hulled and washed; 100g goat cheese; 3⁄4 cup shelled pecan nuts; 1⁄3 cup olive oil; 1⁄4 cup cider vine­gar; 2 tbsp maple syrup; freshly ground black pep­per, to taste

METHOD

Com­bine salad and spinach leaves in a large serv­ing bowl.

Slice straw­ber­ries into halves length­wise and scat­ter over leaves. Crum­ble cheese over, then sprin­kle with pecans.

In a screw-top jar, com­bine oil, vine­gar, maple syrup and pep­per, to taste. The cheese is quite salty so there should be no need to add ex­tra salt. Place lid on and shake vig­or­ously. Driz­zle over salad and toss to com­bine.

Serve im­me­di­ately.

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