Boyne Valley Blue Fritter

Boyne Valley Blue Fritter, with beetroot leaves pesto and blood orange…

I have been living in Co. Meath since late 2002, “The Royal”, a County full of history, legends and myths. Home of some neolithic settlers, reminding me sometimes – and for obvious reasons- of the early art and petroglyphs both our cultures share. You probably heard of the cairns of Loughcrew, or maybe even Knowth and Dowth? But I am sure you have heard of Newgrange, Solstice and equinox sun beams getaway to the other world, another world. And right bang in the middle, lies the legendary Boyne River…

Boyne Valley at Dawn…

Something very exciting is happening in the County; near where this picture was taken, outside a little crossroad town some of my Rock’n’Roll readers might know simply as “Slane”. A new dawn for the food world of the region, a paradox some of you might say,  coming from a land rich in cattle and vast green pastures! A new cheese is born, the only one made in Co. Meath… Not only it is blue, like the proverbial blood once drawn on the banks of this very river – or for the sake of one crazy time that has taken us a very long time to shift and heal- but it is also made with goat’s milk…

Boyne Valley Blue

Third generation dairy farmer Michael Finegan is now a goat farmer, with over 300 animals roaming the land. After getting legend Peter Thomas ( Bellingham Blue, Co. Louth) to make the cheese from the farm’s milk, Michael has now taken the jump and has become a full 2.0 cheesemaker/ “affineur”; and what an exciting start it has been!

Michael Finegan ( Photo Credit Boyne Valley Blue).

So to celebrate this great news, and since Michael is a cheesy friend, I promised him that I would do a little recipe with his cheese; even though, it is lovely on its own after two and a half months of careful maturing; I wanted to reflect a little “je ne sais quoi”, jazz it up a bit? Or since we are in Slane, “Rock it up” might somehow make more sense. First, I decided to do a beetroot leaves pesto…

Organic beetroot leaves

I chopped the leaves, and put them in my homemade hand blender, with garlic, olive oil, sea salt and the juice of a whole lime…

Beetroot leaves and ingredients ready for the blend…

I got myself a nice wedge of a two months old Boyne Valley Blue ( I hope you enjoy this Irish Celtic triskel designed dish; a theme found in both Brittany and Ireland, the symbol for the Boyne valley). I took an oiled pastry ring, quite small in diameter, 3 inches, 5-6cm, and made a little ring out of the cheese. The idea is to egg wash it ( flour, one beaten egg and for the crumbs, I used blended spelt flakes).

Two months old Boyne Valley Blue

Before you do the egg wash thingy, get yourself a nice blood orange. everything on this plate has a meaning after all; may it be history or taste, both will collide at some stage. Keep it whole and peel the orange with a knife, a sharp one. Remove the fleshy segments, no skins should be served…

Organic Blood Orange…

For the final part; take your ring of Boyne Valley Blue cheese, dip it in flour ( I used buckwheat), then in the beaten egg and finally, cover well with fine spelt flakes ( you can also use a good bread crumb). Fry for two minutes on each side, very carefully and with a palette knife, gently place on a sheet of kitchen paper. Put a generous table spoon of the beetroot leaves pesto in the middle of the plate and the cheese fritter on top; I had one chicory left that I cut into quarters. I kept two for the side, as it goes incredibly well with cheese in general, blues in particular. Place the blood orange segments on the other side, crumble some fresh walnuts ( or dried), a generous drizzle of olive oil, and the zest of a whole lime. That about covers it…

Boyne Valley Blue Fritter, with beetroot leaves pesto, blood orange segments and fresh chicory… etc…

Oh! And a fair tribute…

Goat morning
Just a wee goat ( Photo credit Boyne Valley Blue Farm).

A little close up to finish…

Close up…
Boyne Valley Blue Fritter, with beetroot leaves pesto and blood orange

Keep Well and Eat Happy,

Slán Tamall




7 thoughts on “Boyne Valley Blue Fritter

  1. You’re teasing me now, my friend! Soft, unctuous blue goat cheese – I am in heaven in my head and now on a serious crusade to find an alternative here until I can get my hands on the real McCoy. And that recipe …. oo la la, I have to make it. By the way the chicory was a triumph and I was a good kind girl and made it at lunchtime so as not to offend my husband’s nose 😉. PS: The finished plated fritter looks like a little bunny. Probably just my strange imagination or delirium but hey – I’m harmless 😘

    1. 🙂 Oh wow, well done! There is actually a similar cheese in France called “Persillé du Marais” ( the French refer to “parsley or parsleyed, to describe a blue cheese). Thank you! You always make me smile! The Spring is finally here in Ireland, they are even talking of 15c today!!! With blue skies! Imagine that?

      1. Good grief … 15C and blue skies – the stuff of an Irishman’s dreams. Thanks for the steer on the persile du Marais … I’ll search it out and then that plate shall be mine!

      2. You too …. you’ll all be out bathing in the sea with those temperatures (non-Irish readers substitute 30C for the 15C that Franck has written above) I’m off to Marcolès for more fun and japes in my never ending quest to prove that you can renovate a wreck with no money 😀

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