Cheese and Onion Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

5 Nov

Perhaps it is just me, but I find that I am always looking for new salad recipes because, well, salad can get dull extremely fast. It’s not me, salad – it’s you – I’m just not committed to you because at times you are boring. There I said it, now let’s move on.

Returning to the kitchen after a long summer hiatus, I am now back into the swing of things and have been searching for new dressings and new sauces to spruce up veggies and proteins. Any salad recipe that has the words “cheese” and “creamy herb dressing” in the title is the kind of salad that I want to make, which is why I tried this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie at Home” cookbook. I was also lured in with the home-made pickled shallots as I’d never pickled anything before. They were surprisingly simple to make, whilst also being delicious, so I am now trying to work out how I can use the pickled shallots in other recipes. I recommend serving this salad for brunch or lunch, alongside a quiche or tart, or a light protein dish, such as chicken.

Jamie Oliver’s Cheese and Onion Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing (Serves 4)

8 small shallots, peeled and very finely sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
White wine vinegar
1 romaine or cos lettuce, washed and spun dry, leaves separated
1 Boston or bibb lettuce, outer leaves removed, washed and spun dry, leaves separated
4 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves, such as arugula, washed and spun dry, leaves separated
4 ounces Roquefort (or any blue) cheese, crumbled
A good handful of walnuts, toasted and crumbled
Optional: a small handful of chive or allium flowers

For the creamy herb dressing:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons  crème fraîche
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Method:
Placed the thinly sliced shallots in a small bowl with a generous pinch of salt and pour over just enough white wine vinegar to cover. You’ll pour away the excess salt and vinegar once the onions are pickled, so don’t worry if you think it’s a bit much. Scrunch everything together with your hands and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Whilst waiting for the onions to pickle, get a start on your dressing. To make the dressing, mix 4 tablespoons of olive oil with the crème fraîche and the red wine vinegar. Whisk everything together and season to taste.

Squeeze the shallots hard with your hands and drain. Place the salad leaves on a serving plate. From a height, sprinkle over the shallots and the crumbled Roquefort. Scatter over the crumbled walnuts – it’s really nice if they are still a bit warm from being toasted. Drizzle the dressing over the salad at the table. Finish by throwing some torn-up chive or allium flowers, if you have them.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie at Home” cookbook.

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