From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
50 g (2oz) unsalted butter
3 sheets filo pastry (thawed if frozen)
2 tblsp olive oil, plus a little extra
2 onions, finely chopped
1 large egg yolk
3 tblsp cream
200 g boilie goats’ cheese balls
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
a little cayenne pepper
maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lightly dressed mixed green salad leaves and ballymaloe relish, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions for about 1 hour until caramelised, stirring regularly to prevent the bottom from catching. Season to taste and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Unfold the filo pastry and cut the sheets into quarters, then cover with a damp tea towel. Take 4 x 200ml (7fl oz) glass ramekins and turn upside down on a non-stick baking sheet.
Take a piece of the filo and brush with butter, then use to cover the top of the ramekin. Add another two layers of the brushed filo pastry, placing each square at a slightly different angle. Repeat until you have four covered ramekins in total.
Bake the filo baskets for 8-10 minutes until just cooked through and holding their shape but not coloured. When cool enough to handle carefully remove the filo baskets from the ramekins, then transfer to a wire rack and to cool.
Whisk the egg yolk and cream in a jug and season. Pour over the caramelised onions. Place three goats cheese balls on top each tartlet, then sprinkle over the thyme and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden and set. Arrange on plates and add the garnish each one with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.
Add a small mound of dressed salad to each plate along with a spoonful of the Ballymaloe relish to serve.