I’ve probably stated that lots of recipes are easy, but this roasted pepper goat’s cheese salad really is. It honestly ticks the simplicity box with a big, fat ‘X’, especially if you save time and use pre-roasted peppers. But even if you decide to roast your own, it’s a pretty straightforward affair, if you have other things to do in the kitchen whilst you wait for the peppers to take on their delicious, sweet, summery flavours. Whatever route you take, this salad scattered with goat’s cheese and basil will take you on a little summery trip to a warmer, richer, brighter place, chasing those sunshine soaked salad dreams.
Fancy a Swim?
I’ve had an amazing week. I feel completely in over my head, which is brilliant. I’ve set various things in motion, asked people to do things which all drag me forwards, kicking and screaming into an unknown future. There’s a saying by T.S Eliot “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”, which is quite entertaining, however, there’s another favourite of mine which is “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”. It’s this second one that I particularly like, it succinctly demonstrates how a life full of measured, controlled situations is never going to allow you to reach your full potential.
If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?T.S. Eliot
I often feel like that. At university, I studied a course where the lecturers had a propensity to set an assignment that was way out of our league, then wander off to have coffee and practice their golf swing, whilst we looked at each other wondering what on earth we should be doing. Ultimately, they were there to support us if we needed them, we just had to seek them out with specific problems, but their style of teaching was to throw us in at the deep end and promptly vacate the lifeguard’s seat.
Ditch the Inflatable Armbands.
Either it was an effective policy, or it simply appealed to a deeper sense of adversity within me, because I, and those around me, all came together and learned how to escape the obstacles in our way. We had the environment required to resolve the assignment, we just had to find out how, on our own. At this point I feel slightly like an Anglican priest composing his Sunday Sermon, about to launch into a limp wristed expounding of how God’s love is like a carrier bag, because it holds us all in, safely, like a bag for life.
But I’m not a priest and I’m not even religious, I just feel that the quote by T.S. Eliot hits on something very true about pushing ourselves. We’re all floating around, we’re all paddling at some point, but some people gradually venture down to the deep end and some simply climb to the highest diving board and jump. All I can suggest is that you do whatever feels most uncomfortable, because it’s only when the slight panic of danger from being out of your depth comes around that life suddenly begins to opens up wider.
Roasted Pepper Goat’s Cheese Salad.
That’s my little sermon over, time for the food.
Today is an elaboration on the balsamic roasted peppers that I created for this very blog a few weeks ago. In fact, the roasting of the peppers is the main part of the preparation, it’s incredibly darn simple otherwise. You could even cheat and take some peppers out of a jar and whizz up a quick balsamic dressing (2 parts oil, 1 part balsamic, 1 small crushed garlic clove and season well) and have this colourful roasted pepper and goat’s cheese salad on the plate in a matter of seconds. If you roast them yourself you can choose a selection of colours, mixing red, yellow and orange peppers together to make a vibrant display.
I find salads like this truly inspirational little plates of food. They exude summery warmth, a dreamy vision of holidays gone by, when choosing lunch is the second largest decision of the day, behind what to have for dinner. Salads like this also appear effortlessly elegant and inviting, they seem to offer a ticket to a different world, somewhere away from the one I exist in here, a place that’s simple yet infinitely richer, passionate and more colourful. I guess that’s why the idea of moving to another, warmer country has always held a deep appeal to me, it’s because I’m chasing my salad dreams.
Roasted Pepper Goat’s Cheese Salad
By Gavin Wren
Serves 4 as a side.
plus making balsamic roasted peppers
3 balsamic roasted peppers, or three roasted red peppers from a jar
100g chèvre blanc goats cheese
Handful basil leaves
The juices from roasting the peppers (if making them yourself)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, mashed
Salt and pepper
Crumble the goat’s cheese all over the peppers, then drizzle the roasted pepper juices over the top, or if using pre-cooked peppers, mix the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the plate.
Scatter with basil leaves, season and serve.