Goats Cheese is one of those fantastic flavours that is absolutely unique – nothing tastes quite like it. It’s deep, salty flavour and stomach-filling denseness makes it a great substitute for meat. It’s a shame that it proves such a divisive ingredient, with many of its detractors claiming it tastes like the poor animal smells. I, however, love it and think it goes brilliantly with sweet-caramelised onions and balsamic flavouring.
These parcels make fantastic hors dourves or put together with some roasted vegetables they make a nice, slightly lighter alternative to a pie as a main. And despite being a little fiddly to put together they cook in the blink of an eye, so the total-time isn’t too much.
- Filo pastry
- Goats Cheese
- Red Onion
- Pistachio Nuts (optional)
- Vinegar – balsamic or red wine is best
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Chop the onion into very small pieces and add to a lightly oiled pan. Sprinkle with salt to draw out the moisture and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add a handful of sugar and stir through, continuing to cook for a few more minutes before putting in a splash of vinegar. Simmer for a few more minutes until you have a thick, somewhat sticky sweet onion mixture.
- Slice your filo pastry into squares/rectangles. I went for roughly 10 x 10 cm, serving 3 parcels per person as a main. For each parcel I used 2-3 sheets of filo on top of each other. Be very careful with the pastry as it is very delicate.
- Crumble the goats cheese into the middle of the filo sheets and gently press down. They make a good base to the parcels so that the onions don’t give you soggy-bottoms.
- Top with the onion mixture and anything else you may wish to include. I topped with some crushed pistachios (alas, I forgot to take the picture of the finished article). Anything that requires cooking I would do beforehand, as the parcels only take a very short while to be ready.
- Beat an egg in a bowl and lightly dab the corners of the pastry with the mixture. Seal the parcels by bringing the corners into together and twisting at the top – they should look like little sacks of gold. Use a pastry brush to apply more egg mixture. This will make sure the pastry remains sealed and will give them a nice bronze shine.
- Cook in the oven until the pastry has browned. I would recommend cooking on baking paper/silicone which sadly I didn’t have. The pastry and will stick to a baking tray.
Again, these make lovely little hors dourves for parties, or with roast vegetables for a main. I topped with a balsamic glaze and some small thyme sprigs.