Baked St Marcellin with puy lentil salad

Serves 4 (as a starter)
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes at 190c/375f

Ingredients

1 x 400g tin of cooked lentils, rinsed
and drained well
¼ red onion, chopped very finely
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
½ clove garlic, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
pinch sugar
salt and pepper
2 small St Marcellin cheese rounds
1 teaspoon dried sage or thyme
6-8 slices of very stale French bread
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 egg beaten
4 stalks fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. Make breadcrumbs from bread that’s been left out to dry for a couple of days. When the bread is brittle it’ll either crumb in a tall container with your hand blender or you can smash it using a rolling pin after putting the bread in a thick plastic bag.
  2. To make the lentil salad mix the lentils, tomatoes, onions, mustard, garlic, vinegar, sugar and oils, and taste and season well with salt and pepper. This is best made ahead, as the flavours can develop. Store during the day covered in the fridge.
  3. One St Marcellin cheese is too big for a starter, so cut them in half into two semi circles. Roll them on the work surface to knock back into a rounder shape. Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls and dip the cheese in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs mixed with the sage or thyme. Put these in the freezer for an hour before baking as this will stop the cheese running when you bake them.
  4. Chop the parsley and stir into the lentil salad so the green is fresh, you are able to see it and the flavour will be strong.
  5. 10 minutes before serving drizzle the cheeses generously with olive oil, and bake uncovered in the oven and meanwhile spoon the lentil salad in to the centre of plates.

To serve top the salad with the cheese and serve.

Local flavours

St Marcellin is a village in the Isere (a region just south of Savoie beneath the ski resorts of Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’Huez) The cheese made here is fresh flavoured, in small rounds and little known outside France, so this is a real treat for guests. We’ve matched this warm cheese starter with a very traditional French lentil salad to bring a true taste of France.