Roasted broccoli, cheddar and spiced walnut salad

I recently tried Applewood Cheddar for the first time and while I don’t make a habit of eating cheese unless it’s mouldy, I couldn’t resist seeking out a recipe for this much-loved British cheese. With its subtle smokey flavour and creamy texture, this white cheddar is perfect for salads because it holds it shape despite being tossed about with leaves and dressing. I wanted to make cheese and chive scones, but this hot weather doesn’t really invite hearty fare, so I did a little research and was none too surprised to find a delightful salad using cheese on an American food blog. Kristin Porter from Iowa Girl Eats  calls it an Earth Bowl Salad. It’s a dish from a Washington restaurant chain called Sweet Green and she has made it her own by adding candied spiced walnuts – which are incredible by the way.

This recipe is a jazzy alternative to your average green salad with vinaigrette. Everything from the candied walnuts down to the basil dressing makes this a winner for anyone looking for a super summer salad to spice up their lunch time. Leaving out the cheese would make this a perfectly acceptable Paleo or Vegan dish. It’s worth roasting the broccoli, corn and walnuts – it’s what sets the dish apart from the boring same old. So if these steps put you off – maybe save it for when you’re having friends over.

Roasted Broccoli, Corn, Cheddar and Spiced Walnut Salad Recipe

1 x bag of baby spinach leave
1 head of broccoli
1 x chunk of Applewood smoked cheese
A cup of walnuts
A punnet of baby plum tomatoes
1 or 2 ears of sweet corn (kernels cut off from the core)
2 tbs honey
Olive oil, paprika, chilli flakes
Cup of basil leaves
1 tbs lemon juice

Toss the walnut in 1 tbs of honey and some olive oil, seasoned with paprika and salt. Roast till browned and let cool to go crunchy.
Toss the corn and broccoli in some olive oil, salt and chilli flakes and roast in a hot oven till browned on the edges.
Make the dressing by whizzing up the basil leaves with the lemon juice, a splash of olive oil and the remaining tbs of honey.
Toss the spinach and tomatoes in the dressing and then add the remaining ingredients.