Make onion-fig compote
Compote tastes best when it can reduce for a while. We start with this.
Halve the red onion, peel it and cut it into small rings. Make sure you leave it – as Hugo calls it – ‘carrot’ attached. This way you prevent the onion from falling apart completely when cutting.
In the meantime, heat a small splash of neutral (olive) oil in a saucepan, in which you can slightly caramelize the red onion.
Then grate the orange zest above the pan – for some extra freshness in your compote -, toss through the pan once and add the orange juice. Once you’ve done this, you can add the sugar and red wine vinegar.
The next step is to chop the figs. Be prepared for a nice sticky job. Add the sliced figs including the seasonings (bay leaf and cloves) to the pan.
All that remains is to bring it to the boil first and then let it cook, covered, over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes. You will see that the onions become viscous. Just what you want for a compote! When serving, don’t forget to remove the cloves and let it cool for a few minutes.
Making cheese packages
We Dutch are – with some exceptions – purebred cheese heads. Guaranteed that these DIY cheese packages will be appreciated.
You start by cutting the goat cheese into 8 strips (8x2x1½ cm). You also cut the phyllo dough into pieces. Make sure you have 16 sheets of 14×10. Filo dough is very thin, which is why Hugo uses 2 dough sheets for 1 cheese package. This leaves you with 8 servings.
Place the cheese in the center of the dough sheets, ris the thyme and sprinkle it over the cheese. You can also add black pepper to taste.
To round off your cheese package, coat the sides of the sheets with neutral oil (Hugo uses sunflower oil).
And now the folding and gluing can begin. Fold the short sides over the cheese and roll up so that the cheese is tightly packed. Finally, you also ‘glue’ the last piece with some oil. Once you have done this, you will continue to make the autumn salad first.
Autumn salad with walnuts and grapes
Hugo makes a vitamin-rich autumn salad with the cheese packages. We start with the dressing. Add the mustard and a good splash of red wine vinegar to the bowl and add the oil while stirring. Et voilà, the vinaigrette is ready.
Time to cut the celery and artichokes into pieces, halve the grapes and chop the shallot very finely. You can add all this to the dressing. Optionally, you can season the autumn salad with extra salt and pepper. Before we add the lettuce, first go back to the cheese packets.
Bake cheese packages
The cheese packages. Heat a layer of oil in a frying pan. You can bake all sides of the cheese sticks in just 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper so that the cheese snack loses its excess fat.
Then you roast the walnuts for the salad in a dry frying pan. If you don’t like toasted nuts, you can skip this step.
If finishing touch wash and pick the lettuce, sprinkle the (roasted) nuts over the salad and mix it all with your hands. The only thing left now is to prepare the plates.
Divide the lettuce over the plates, divide the cheese packets (you can cut them in half if necessary) and top it all off with the onion-fig compote. You can also serve some bread with it.
At the table!