Now comes the recipe from “The Forest Feast” cookbook that inspired me to buy the book in the first place: Warm goat cheese and fig salad.
What is warm goat cheese? you may ask. Well, it’s nothing short of heaven. You take super thin sheets of phyllo dough and wrap them around goat cheese Brie. Goat cheese Brie is like regular Brie; it just has a slightly different flavor since it’s made with goat milk. You brush the packets with a little olive oil, and toast them in the oven. When they’re done, you have little goat cheese pillows that melt in your mouth. Yes; they’re as good as they sound.
A word to the wise about baking with phyllo dough: It’s extremely fragile. I guess I should have realized this because of how thin it is, but I assumed it would be a little heartier, like pie dough. I was wrong. I almost had a disaster situation when the sheet of phyllo dough tore, but luckily I realized what was happening and stopped it before it started.
This might be the best salad I’ve ever made. It’s also a runner up for one of the best dishes I’ve ever made. I’m not even a huge fan of salads in the first place, so that’s saying something. The phyllo dough packets kind of act as croutons, and give some substance to the salad. The roasted walnuts pair well with the sweet figs, and the lemon vinaigrette adds some zest and ties everything together.
If you make this salad, I’d go with the vinaigrette recipe in the front of the cookbook. It’s bright and zesty, and light enough that you don’t feel like your salad leaves are drowning in dressing. You could throw together something similar, but once you try this recipe, I bet you’ll use it on most of your salads.
This is the kind of salad that you can eat comfortably during the winter. The goat cheese packets and roasted walnuts will warm you up, and the figs have just enough sweetness. This is the time of year I start eating cookies, cake, and pie nonstop, so it’s good to throw some natural sweetness into a recipe.
Here’s a song to get you started on your warm goat cheese and fig salad journey. Whenever I listen to Chris Lane, I pretend he’s singing to me.