Happy New Year 2022! 🎉🍾
I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2022 and may all your dreams for the new year come true.
This is another leftovers post- and another very simple but delicious recipe. I had quite a bit of Saint Agur cheese left over from the black rice dish I made a couple of days’ ago; a lone pear – also left over from the dish – was at perfect ripeness; and bags of rocket and baby spinach leaves were open in the fridge, asking to be used before they aged too much.
Many shops and cafes are closed today, or only opening during Sunday hours, after the new year celebrations last night. However, Gail’s bakery in Twickenham was opening only an hour later than usual so I headed down there quite early for a coffee and one of their fabulous croissants, and to buy bread. I usually buy their San Francisco Sourdough but I bought one of the Seeded Sourdoughs for my son the other day, and he said it was delicious, so I thought I should try it. What a gorgeous fresh loaf needs at lunchtime, when only a light meal is wanted, is a nice salad. So one was made.
I made just enough salad for myself, but of course you can up the quantities easily for more people. The ingredients are fairly flexible too: what you have to hand as long as you have the pear and blue cheese. I think a soft, creamy blue cheese is best.
Pear, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad with a Honey & Mustard Dressing
- some mixed green salad leaves (I had rocket & spinach)
- a few slices of cucumber
- 1 ripe pear, cored and cut into 8 slices
- about 25g soft blue cheese (e.g. Saint Agur, Gorgonzola)
- a handful of walnuts
Honey & Mustard Dressing
- about 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- about 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- ½ teaspoon runny honey
- pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper
I think it’s nice to keep the basic salad a green one, so I had cucumber and added that, but not tomatoes or other ‘coloured’ vegetables. I also prefer to keep this kind of salad very simple – not throw in too many different ingredients.
I put a big handful each of rocket and baby spinach leaves into a shallow dish, and mixed gently by hand.
I lay the cucumber slices on top. Then lay the pear slices fairly evenly around in a circular shape.
Next, I crumpled over the soft blue cheese, dotting it around as evenly as I could.
I topped this all with some walnuts, which I broke roughly as I dotted them round.
Make the dressing by putting everything in a cup or small container and whisking all together. I’ve given ‘about’ measurements for the oil and vinegar as I do think the ratio is about preference and how vinegary or not you like your dressing. Taste and see if you like it and add more of one if you’d prefer it that way. I always have some cider vinegar and I think it goes particularly well with this kind of salad, but you can substitute it with a wine vinegar – but not balsamic, which is far too syrupy and the wrong flavour for this French-style salad rather than an Italian one.
Spoon the dressing over the salad as evenly as you can. It’s not a salad for tossing, so cover as much of it as you can with the dressing. I like a lot of dressing but maybe you might not want to use it all.
Eat. It’s as simple as that!
It was all so delicious, all the ingredients at perfect readiness: ripe sweet pear; salty, soft cheese; crunchy walnuts and a slightly sweet dressing with a hint of mustard heat. Perfection. And that seeded sourdough with it was a good as I’d been told. What a lunchtime treat.