I love making appetizers. After desert, they are my favourite part of a meal. I think I just really like well-constructed small plates. Small portions, full flavours. My friend Catherine and I very often go to a restaurant and share appetizers all evening, tasting a little bit of everything, enjoying bits and pieces of the menu. It costs us the same as if we were to take big plates, but it feels like we had more. And you can keep ordering them for as long as you feel like it. Vive les tapas!
In Ottawa, there are many restaurants that are all about small plates, if you a like those, if you’re into stretching the evening. My long-time favourite has been Play Food & Wine. For as long as I have lived in Ottawa, this place has been my “go-to” restaurant for many special occasions. Birthdays, friends visiting, dates, a girl’s night out … great ambiance where the staff is highly skilled. The plates are always well balanced in terms of flavour and the menu is changing with the seasons, which makes it even more interesting. A selection of wines is suggested for each delicious plate and you can always count on the staff to give accurate knowledge of what you are about to drink and eat. Definitively one of my favourite spots in Ottawa. And if you are looking into lunch options, Play also offers great deals for a quick and perfect lunch.
Today I decided to share with you one of my favourite appetizers when I am having friends over — a piece of goat cheese coated in panko, fried in a pan and immediately served on a bed of salad, green apples, and cranberries. With a piece of bread, it is a success every time.
I wish I could take the credit for this recipe, but I can’t. It is totally inspired by a recipe by Josée di Stasio (click here to see her website). Josée has a TV show in French and has a lot of great recipes on her website, you should check it out.
I like adding cranberries to the salad or mango – it gives it nice and vibrant colour while adding a pinch of sweetness to it. I hope you will like it just as we do at home!
You will need:
Goat cheese, cut into slices
2 eggs, whisked
Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
Mix of green leaves
One sliced granny smith apple
1 tablespoon of nut oil
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Dust each piece of goat cheese with flour. Dip the floured cheese into the beaten eggs and then cover in Japanese bread crumbs. Repeat these three steps a second time.
In a small bowl, whisk the nut oil with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper — this is the dressing.
In a bigger bowl, mix the green leaves with the nuts, cranberries, and the apple. Drizzle the dressing mix onto the salad and put on individual plates.
In a frying pan, cook the cheese in wallflower oil until each piece is golden and crispy on every side (this should be about 2 minutes on each side).
Immediately arrange the goat cheese on top of the salad and serve warm with some bread.
And that’s it! I hope you will enjoy!