Wednesday, July 7, 2010
If you don't like the idea of a summer salad with lots of tomatoes, then you should try this - it's good and it's good for you, just because of the walnut content, though salad is always good for you, in my opinion. This one comes from Jamie Oliver's newest book, Jamie Does, and it's from his French chapter, one of utter contentment and satisfaction, which this salad most certainly brings. (It's not called this in his book, obv.; it comes from the story as to how Roquefort cheese was invented, haphazardly.)
First, get some interesting salad (no bitter leaf stuff though; rocket is not needed here, though radicchio is okay) and some smoked bacon, preferably lardons. (If you don't have lardons on hand, just get some smoked bacon anyway and cut it into chunks with a knife or scissors.) Also needed are walnuts (the more the merrier, a good handful at least), Roquefort cheese (a little goes a long way) and of course our good friend stale bread (the recipe calls for sourdough, though any basic strong-minded bread will do). Fry up the bacon in some olive oil, cut the bread up into managable pieces and once the bacon fat has come out and mixed with the oil, put in the bread and get it nicely friendly with the fat. Chop up some walnuts in the meantime, and also make a basic dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. (Dijon mustard is ideal here, but American mustard works well too - you should have this dressing be a little more acidic than usual, by the way.)
Then it's a matter of getting it all into a bowl and mixing it up with the dressing, putting it bowls and then and only then slicing pieces of Roquefort and putting them in the salad, not just on top. The nut and cheese combination here is awesome, of course, but the bread and bacon make this a meal to itself; have it with something lemony to drink and praise the French, again!