I have often tried this dish and varieties when living in France and fell in love with the mix of goat’s cheese and honey. So when I cooked for 8 of my family and friends last June, I needed something that is easy to prepare and gives me time to spend with the guests in the mean time. This was the perfect solution.
It is a simple dish that through its sheer simplicity makes a great dinner party starter.
Originally I used different colour tomatoes but then I forgot to take a picture. The pictures here are from the evening meal and as I liked my own dish that much I had the same again next day for lunch.
We bought the tomatoes at a farmers market so the taste was outstanding, the tomatoes were just right and slightly sweet, this dish is at its best when the tomatoes compliment the filo parcels, so try to get ripe tomatoes, otherwise they might have a bit of sharpness that doesn’t bring out the best side of it. I also use my rainbow pepper grinder to season the dish. Black pepper is ok but the mixed ones just add a level of sophistication to this simple dish.
Ingredients make 4:
- 1 roll of goat’s cheese
- 1 packet filo pastry
- 4 Different colour ripe tomatoes
- 1 packet of rocket
- 1 shallot to sprinkle the dish
For the dressing:
- 6 tbs olive oil
- 6 tbs white wine vinegar
- 3 tbs whole grain mustard
- 2-3 tbs of runny honey (to taste)
- Salt and mixed peppercorns for seasoning
So lets start with the filo parcels. Cut the cheese into 8 slices. Then lay out one layer of filo pastry, place the goats cheese in the middle and wrap it up, the way you do it is up to you. On the pictures I decided to go for the simple and easy way. If you have some butchers string you can also use 2 filo sheets per cheese slice and then wrap them up in a “purse shape”. Whatever tickles your fancy.
When you are done with the parcels, sprinkle them with a tiny amount of water, then cover with cling film. Filo pastry dries out super quick and will break during baking so it is important to keep the pastry moist. In france they have a bit thicker pastry which is slightly easier to handle but with this trick they will turn out good too.
Next heat the oven on 200C and whilst this is heating up we can turn to dressing the plate with super thin slices of tomatoes in different colours and also a bit of rocket, task done. I know some people say to cut tomatoes with a serrated blade but I disagree. I would suggest cutting them with a big, normal knife, which is either super sharp or has been sharpened before attempting to cut the tomatoes. The weight and sharpness of the knife will then just glide through the tomato, without any effort whatsoever. If you get ripe tomatoes this is essential otherwise they will look butchered and not as nice.
For the dressing take an empty jar, add and mix all ingredients, then close and give it a shake.
You perhaps will have to adjust the taste, so make sure you try it. If too sharp add a bit more honey, we want the dressing to be sweet but not overpowering, so if too sweet add a bit of vinegar and salt. Once you played around with it, you will get the hang of it quickly. Also add a couple tbs of water, shake again and we can move on to the filo parcels.
Once the oven is warm place the parcels in the middle of the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the oven, if you are unsure have a look. The filo pastry should be golden brown but not burnt. If you decided to go for the “purse shape” it might be a bit trickier with the bits on top, filo is burning notoriously quick, once the “golden brown” stage has been reached, so make sure you keep an eye on it.
When the parcels are ready place them in the middle of the plate and voila, start wowing your guests!