This was a mid-week supper born from a collision of happy circumstances. I’ve written about Ribblesdale cheeses before, including their Smoked Goat and also their top-notch Goat Gouda, which the cheesemaker Iona was kind enough to send to me when it proved impossible to source in London. Their goat curd had proved equally elusive, until I spotted it when I was putting in a posher-than-usual supermarket order. It seemed like the perfect companion for the ceremonial eating of the only two leeks I had managed to produce at the allotment this year.
I had nurtured my leeks from seed, dibbed them into their little holes and all seemed well. Then the Invasion of the Courgettes happened and the majority of the leeks were cruelly smothered to death. Only two, fairly puny, specimens survived. I’d left them in all winter in the hope they might get a second wind but no, it was time to give them a dignified send-off.
The curd itself is a delight, with the texture of cream cheese and the citrusy tang of fresh goats’ cheese. You could use it in a myriad of ways, sweet and savoury: in a salad, with nuts or honey, even in a dessert instead of cream cheese. I went for a frittata with my leeks but also had a beetroot pesto on the side, which worked really well. This recipe would serve two as a light supper, perhaps with a salad on the side. I wasn’t in a light supper mood so I ate it all myself. In my defence, the plate is smaller than it looks.
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 medium leek or 2-3 baby leeks, washed, trimmed and chopped up
3 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
50g Ribblesdale Goat Curd
1 medium beetroot, washed and roasted in the oven
1 clove garlic, crushed
25g Parmesan (or use a hard British cheese like Old Winchester or Sussex Charmer)
50g walnuts, lightly toasted
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp. olive oil
Sauté the leeks in the olive oil in a small frying pan until they are soft. Place them in a bowl and whisk through the three eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook until the bottom is set and the edges start to come away from the pan. Add the goats’ curd and thyme leaves.
Place the pan under a pre-heated grill to set the top of the frittata. Meanwhile, put all of the other ingredients, except for the olive oil, into a food processor and blend, adding the oil through the top as you go. Serve warm with a pea-shoot salad (which I forgot until later as I was too busy trying to make the photos look less awful in the terrible light, whilst worrying that my tea was getting cold).