September 25, 2007
We had Stratford Girl and Tom Rom round for Sunday lunch this weekend. It felt like the last fleeting moments of summer as we sat among the rampant foliage in our tiny back yard, knocking back the kir and batting away kamikaze wasp attacks.
Apparently in denial over the impending arrival of autumn, this week’s veg box arrived with a bag of sexy salad leaves perched daintily on top. On closer inspection it contained a mix of tender chard leaves, sprightly rocket and what looked like a deep purple frisee – a winning combo of textures, colours and flavours. I made this easy starter to celebrate the last of the salad days.
Bacon, blue cheese and walnut salad
To make the blue cheese dressing mash a good wedge of soft blue cheese (we used Bleu d’Auvergne) with a clove of garlic. Stir in a small splash of vinegar and a few tablespoons of Greek Yoghurt. Mix well together and season with black pepper, and, if necessary, salt. If it’s too thick you could thin it with a small amount of water.
Make some croutons by removing the crust from a couple of slice of bread, cutting them into cubes and tossing in a little oil. Spread out on a baking tray and bake in the oven until golden and crisp. Season and set aside.
Meanwhile, fry some nice thick lardons of bacon or pancetta in a small amount of oil until crisp.
Dress a few salad leaves with the blue cheese mixture and place in the middle of the plate. Strew some walnuts, the bacon and the croutons around and place the rest of the salad leaves, perhaps dressed with a little olive oil, on top.
Dollop some more dressing on the side of the plate, spin around three times and do a little shimmy across the lino. Serve immediatement.