Goat's cheese, butternut squash and watercress salad
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Method

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350°F/ gas mark 4.
2) Place the chopped butternut squash, red onion, red pepper, garlic and mushrooms on to a baking tray.
3) Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4) Roast in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until slightly browned and the vegetables have softened.
5) Heat a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Blanch the fine beans for 3 minutes. In the same saucepan blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
6) Combine the cooked vegetables together and mix in a deep serving dish.
7) Add the trimmed watercress and goat’s cheese and mix well and transfer into individual plates.

To Serve the Stylish way: Dust the plate with a little black pepper and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
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cook: Starter / salad

Goat's cheese, butternut squash and watercress salad

I find it very interesting to link modern food with biblical traditions. There are numerous reasons why we have dairy foods during Shavout and these are some of them.

Once the Jews accepted the Torah, they became obligated in the laws of keeping kosher. But since they were not yet familiar with the laws regarding animal slaughter, they ate dairy.

Receiving the Torah was a form of rebirth. We celebrate this newness by consuming baby food. Namely, milk.

Shavuot coincided with the time when the lambs and calves born in the spring would be suckling. Therefore an abundance of dairy products were available.

Legend has it that the Jewish people were at Sinai for so long that all their milk soured and turned into cheese.

In the Torah the Jewish people are promised a "Land flowing with milk and honey." Dairy meals recall this lyrical description of Israel.

The Hebrew word for milk, chalav, has the numerical value of 40, symbolizing the number of days Moses was on Mt. Sinai

Goat’s cheese, butternut squash and watercress salad
This warm salad can be served as a main course or in a smaller portion for a starter. I feel it is ideal appetiser before a BBQ, as you can prepare it in advance and spend your time nursing the main course! The contrasting colours and flavours blend well.

Goat’s cheese is now widely produced and available easily because of its popularity. The cheese has distinctive tang – the riper the cheese, the stronger the tang. Soft goat’s cheese has clean mild flavour with no rind and can be used as soft cheese in any recipe – even cheese cake! Harder rind cheeses may be sliced and grilled and put in to salads or with Italian breads as a stylish.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash - peeled and cubed
1 red onion - peeled and roughly chopped
1 red pepper - roughly chopped and deseeded
3 cloves garlic - peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons – olive oil - to drizzle over vegetables
200g Portobello mushrooms – washed and sliced
200g asparagus - trimmed and sliced into 2 cm (1 inch) lengths.
100g fine beans - trimmed - omit for Pesach
1 bunch of watercress - stalks removed
225g firm goat’s cheese – cut into cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnish: Black pepper and extra virgin olive oil
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