An exceptional starter which makes great use of delicious Irish Corleggy Goat's Cheese, complimented by crisp apple and toasted hazelnuts.

Ingredients

  • 25 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tblsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tblsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp very finely chopped skinned,
  • toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 150 g log of corleggy goat's cheese, cut into 4 slices
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying

Salad:

  • 2 crisp irish eating apples
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 50 g rocket leaves
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g skinned, toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

Method

  1. If you prefer to bake the goat's cheese, simply cook it in an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) for another 5–10 minutes, until warmed through and soft.
  2. Look for Irish apples in the supermarket, particularly when they are in season, and if they're not there, ask the manager why! Apples are one of our few indigenous fruits and there is no excuse for the shops not supporting Irish farmers.
  3. To prepare the crispy goat's cheese, mix the breadcrumbs with the parsley, sesame seeds and chopped hazelnuts in a shallow dish and season to taste.
  4. In a separate dish, beat the egg and season lightly. Season the flour and place in another shallow dish. Lightly coat the goat's cheese in the seasoned flour, then dip each slice into the beaten egg, gently shaking off any excess.
  5. Place in the breadcrumb mixture so that they are completely coated. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to firm up.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).
  7. Heat the oil in a deep-sided pan or deep-fat fryer to 180°C (350°F) and cook the breaded goat's cheese for 1–2 minutes, until golden brown. Carefully remove from the oil and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil.
  8. Arrange back on the lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 3–4 minutes, until heated through but still holding their shape.
  9. Meanwhile, make the apple and hazelnut salad. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, cut the apples into wafer-thin slices and toss in the lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
  10. Cover each plate with a layer of slightly overlapping apple slices and add a small mound of the rocket, then drizzle with olive oil. Put the crispy goat's cheese into the centre of each plate and scatter over the hazelnuts to serve.