We invited some dear friends over for Chinese new year so to make sure we had room for the evening’s 3 courses we had salad for lunch. We are currently experimenting with an organic vegetable and fruit delivery service so when we opened it up and found 3 gorgeous heads of chicory and some red apples I jumped at the chance to crunch my way through a tasty winter salad.
Chicory salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a starter or side
3-4 heads of chicory (depending on size, ours were quite little)
1 red skinned apple
3 tbsp walnuts, pine nuts or mixed seeds (walnuts would be best but I didn’t have any so substituted with seeds and pine nuts)
2-4 rashers of streaky bacon or pancetta
50g blue cheese (I used some stilton left over from making a broccoli and stilton soup, but gorgonzola would be gorgeous)
2 tsp yoghurt
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper
First make the dressing, chicory and apples discolour very quickly so you want to be able to chuck it all together at the last minute.
In a whizzer or just in a bowl break the cheese up into small pieces with your hands, now add the rest of the dressing ingredients and pulse or mash with a fork until combined but still has a nice texture
Fry your bacon on the hob without any oil until it is very crisp, then cut into small pieces.
At the same time toast your nuts/seeds either in the oven or on the hob stirring all the time to avoid burning for about 2 minutes
Now cut the end off the chicory and gently separate all the leaves
Cut the apple into quarters, slice out the core and slice very thinly
Toss leaves and apple slices together, sprinkle with seeds/nuts and bacon and dollop (it doesn’t pour!) the dressing over the top