I’ve always been a bit embarrassed by the fact that I don’t enjoy goat’s cheese. I like strong flavours and other ‘grown-up’ foods but never could get beyond a mouthful of goat’s cheese. Too breathy, too powerful.
Then I discovered a way that I could eat goat’s cheese and actually enjoy it – goat’s curd, which is made by simply separating goat’s milk and straining the curds from the whey.
It’s very trendy in London restaurants at the moment, and with good reason. With its light, fresh, subtle flavour; delicious, slightly tangy creaminess and its soft fluffy texture, goat’s curd is both an entry-level goat’s cheese and something else entirely separate, and it goes amazingly well with the young spring vegetables that are starting to appear in the shops. Try it dotted over a warm salad of broad beans, asparagus and blanched tenderstem brocccoli and be converted too.
HOMEMADE GOAT’S CURD
1l full-fat goat’s milk (this is quite widely available now, but if you can only find a skimmed version, just use a high fat Greek yoghurt and a good splash of whole cow’s milk to compensate)
150g Greek yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
Salt, pepper, fresh herbs and olive oil to serve
Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring it just to boiling point then lower the heat. Stir in the yoghurt and add the lemon juice slowly, stirring gently all the while. The goat’s milk should now be completely separated, with lots of small curds floating on the surface. Take it off the heat and leave to sit for ten minutes to allow the curds to come together. Line a sieve with muslin and place securely over a saucepan or large bowl. Spoon the curds into the sieve, wrap the ends of the muslin together slightly and leave to drain for around 30 minutes. Press it gently from time to time without squeezing. (I squeezed mine a little too much, but it was still delicious). When it has reached the consistency of ricotta, transfer to a bowl and either serve with bread, drinks, olive oil and fresh herbs, dot over a salad or serve with warm lemony vegetables.