After Christmas, I’d been craving vegetables, and particularly fresh salad-type vegetables.
I was also determined not to do more shopping so did a search in the fridge and the cupboards to see what could be rustled up. I had a couple of little gem lettuces, but no other real salad veg. But I also had some vac packed beetroot and some pears. I could see something tasty coming together…
This serves two, and is plenty as a starter, or a light snack with some crusty bread or oatcakes, or part of a legendary Wolffe Lunch.
Enough lettuce for 2 people – I used a whole little gem, but you could just as easily use part of a bag of mixed leaves. Watercress or spinach would be nice
1 beetroot, cut into small cubes – use fresh if you have one, if not those vac packed beetroot are fine. I HATE pickled beetroot though – why smother that deep earthy flavour with all that sharp vinegariness?
1 pear, peeled, cored and cut into equally small cubes
Some crumbled blue cheese – I used stilton, predictably, it being Christmas and there being leftovers in the fridge. I’ve got some Bleu D’Auvergne which will be tried next
A small handful of walnuts, toasted to bring out the real walnuttiness of the flavour, and extra crunch
Put all of the above in a decent-sized bowl, big enough that you’ll be able to mix them all up once you’ve dressed it.
Now make the dressing. You can, of course use your own favourite dressing, but these are the flavours that are doing it for me right now:
A good glug of olive oil
A sploosh of vinegar – I’ve been using a combination of a wee bit of balsamic, with a healthy slug of homemade elderflower vinegar (made with elderflowers and white wine vinegar).
A big teaspoon of dijon mustard
An equally big teaspoon or more of runny Scottishflower honey
Put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a twist of freshly ground black pepper and give it a good beating with a teaspoon, or perhaps more conventionally a fork.
Pour the dressing over the salad and lightly mix everything together.
I’m tempted to swap the cheese out for some smoked trout which was pressed into GMC’s hands on the street in Gatehouse on Boxing Day. Another story.