A simple and very chic French-style starter. Once you've marinated the cheese, it's plain sailing.


  • 300g fresh goat cheese in log form

  • 600g fine green beans or asparagus

  • 100g walnut halves

  • Sea salt and pepper

  • Marinade

  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 shallots, finely sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and flattened

  • 1 tsp thyme leaves

  • sea salt and pepper

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, cracked

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds


  • 1.

    Cut the goat cheese into thick slices and cover with the olive oil, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, coriander and fennel seeds. Leave for at least 30 minutes, turning once.

  • 2.

    Top but don’t tail the beans, and cook in simmering salted water for 5 mins until tender, and drain. Toast the walnut halves in a hot dry pan until fragrant.

  • 3.

    Heat the overhead grill. Gently lift the cheeses onto a sheet of foil and place under the grill until just melted. Toss the beans in the marinade, and arrange on four dinner plates. Place the melted cheese on top, and spoon over a little of the marinade. Scatter with the walnuts and serve.

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