Neil Forbes is a Scottish chef and the proprietor of much-loved Café St Honoré which is “hidden down a cobbled lane” in central Edinburgh, just 2 minutes from Princes Street.
Café St Honoré uses the best local and seasonal produce and then Neil adds his own intense passion for cooking which he describes as “an emotional experience which uses all the senses”.
See for yourself – by trying Neil’s Charred Nectarine, Coppa and Black Mount Goat’s Cheese Salad – vibrant in every way!
Café St Honoré
34 North West Thistle Street Lane
Neil’s Charred Nectarine, Coppa & Black Mount Goat’s Cheese Salad (with Rose Murray Brown’s wine recommendations)
I really like chargrilling stoned fruits. It intensifies their flavour and sweetness. The taste alongside coppa (a style of cured ham from the collar of a pig) and the rich, sweet goat’s cheese is just divine.
Ingredients (serves 2)
Prep time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 10 minutes
1 not-too-ripe but firm nectarine or peach; halved, stone removed, cut into segments
Half an Errington’s Black Mount goat’s cheese, or a similar fresh goat’s cheese
1 handful mixed salad leaves, washed; I buy from Phantassie Organic and also like to add few radicchio leaves
6 to 8 slices of East Coast cured coppa, or a similar cured ham like prosciutto
Half teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Good salt and pepper
Firstly, place a griddle pan on the hob.
Once hot, add the nectarine slices, cut-side down. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Don’t be tempted to go in with a spatula or move them around, just leave them and they will have that lovely chargrilled appearance.
Next, make a dressing by mixing the mustard and cider vinegar with some seasoning to taste, then trickle in the olive oil continuing to mix. Check the seasoning and set aside.
Now to assemble the salad. Divide the leaves between two plate and arrange the charred fruit on top. Break apart the cheese with your fingers and crumble over the salad, then lay the slices of coppa on top. Trickle the dressing over the dish in dots here and there and finish with a final twist of salt and pepper. Serve at once with some great bread in the sunshine!
Rose’s wine pairing recommendations
I suggest a white wine with good acidity to match with the goats cheese and cut through the richness of the coppa. For a good value match I suggest Petit Manseng 2019 Cave de Gan Jurancon (12.5%) £9.99 Waitrose from beautiful Jurancon in south west France – its elegant juicy ripe peachy notes and vibrant acidity would work well with this summer salad – and its citrus and honeyed notes would work well with the grilled nectarine. For a pricier weightier white wine match, try Vouvray Sec Renaissance 2018 Sebastian Brunet (14%)£19 L’Art du Vin made from Chenin Blanc in France’s Loire valley – its good acid tension, bright citric fruits, minerally notes and honeyed depth would work well alongside this starter.
Find out more about Neil’s wonderful restaurant at www.cafesthonore.com and follow it at @cafesthonore (Twitter/Instagram) and @cafesthonoreedinburgh (Facebook). You can also follow Neil on Twitter at @chefneilforbes.