Good shopping is crucial if you are to put delicious food on the table and this dish perfectly illustrates how thoughtful shopping for just a few ingredients can yield the most delicious and sophisticated results with virtually no cooking involved.  We are so lucky in Ireland  that  over the last twenty years, a whole raft of committed food producers are creating products that help us to achieve our daily goal of great tasting and health giving food. Helen Finnegans Knockdrinna goats cheese from Co Kilkenny or St Tola goats cheese made in Co Clare are shining and outstanding examples of the quality of the world class foods that we can now buy, take home, simply unwrap and eat.

In this very simple recipe which I serve in this instance to finish this meal, the addition of the sweet sherry soaked raisins gets over the problem of no dessert being served. The sweet raisins are terrific with the pleasantly salty cheese. I like to use the ash covered log from St Tola for this dish. In another meal this dish would be perfect served as a starter course.

The sherry I use here, PX San Emilio sherry from Jerez in Spain is super sweet with a real depth of flavour and is a great aid to any cook. It also pairs brilliantly with blue cheese, chocolate desserts, chicken livers pan fried or in pate form and is a great drizzle for a vanilla, coffee or caramel ice cream.

Serve a crisp cracker or hot and crispy white bread with this dish.

Serves 4

  • 30g raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of PX sherry
  • 4 slices of Knockdrinna goats cheese or St Tola ash log
  • 16 -20 small rocket leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

Place the raisins in a small saucepan and pour over the sherry. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from the heat. Transfer to a small container and leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight. The raisins will soak up some of the sherry and the remaining sherry will become syrupy.

Place a slice of cheese on each serving plate. Scatter the rocket leaves around the cheese making sure that the beautiful black line of ash on the outside of the cheese is visible in its entirety. Drizzle the olive oil over the leaves and a little over the cheese. Squeeze a little lemon juice to follow the olive oil. Carefully divide the sherry soaked raisins and syrupy juices between the plates and finish each serving with a small twist of black pepper and a few grains of sea salt.