In the unlikely case that you’ve bought yourself a wedge of blue cheese and have some left over in the fridge – I have a solution if you’re looking to minimise the guilt you’ll feel as you eat the remainder of the blue cheese, all by yourself. I found this recipe on the The Pioneer Woman blog. The blue in question is the award winning Barkham Blue from a local cheese maker called Two Hoots Cheese. The farm is in a village called Barkham, near Wokingham and it is a rich yellow, creamy blue cheese with a soft, buttery taste. I discovered the Barkham Blue at a cheese tasting I went to on Friday, at a place called The Quince Tree. The Quince Tree is a pub/cafe/food emporium in the middle of the tiniest little village of Stoner, Oxfordshire, set amongst the rolling hills and vales of the Chilterns.
I knew this recipe would be good when I read that the dressing had maple syrup in it. Only the Americans could be so saucy as to think of putting maple syrup into a salad dressing. The Pioneer Woman puts dried cherries in her salad, but of course, I don’t have those in the cupboard, so I left them out. I suppose you could use craisins if you really had to have a dried fruit fix. Also, you could use walnuts in the place of pecans, but I would only do that with a sharp blue like Stilton. The pecans were perfect for the milder flavour of the Barkham Blue. I would however insist on using the sweeter red apple over the granny smith in this case because it’s the sweetness of this salad that complements the blue cheese so nicely. You could, of course put more into this salad. Shaved fennel might go nicely or even spring onion, but I like this recipe because of its simplicity. Some times it’s what we leave out that makes all the difference.
I’ll leave the amounts up to you…obviously this goes for the dressing as well. Go by taste.
Apple, Pecan and Blue cheese Salad with Mustard Maple Dressing
Red apple, sliced thinly
Pecans, halved or whole
Crumbled pieces of blue cheese
Salad greens (baby spinach or mesclun, mixed leaves, anything really).
For the dressing
In a jar mix up about a tablespoon each of maple syrup, Dijon mustard and olive oil and a drizzle of vinegar (balsamic or cider vinegar best).
Shake it up and pour.
I think you can figure this bit out…