The New Year has also been and gone and here we are in January, fairly chilly and in need of comfort food. Thoughts of a healthy eating regime is in my mind, I’m only willing to downscale a bit. Perhaps in the long run that will work better, no severe cutting back, so no big binge on sweet stuff when I fall off my chosen dietary wagon. I’m definitely upping my exercise though. We will see how it goes.
I have a lot of bits and pieces to use up after the festive period - stilton, dried cranberries, nuts and I do seem to have amassed a number of boxes of pancetta cubes in my fridge. I was wondering what to make with them all, and remembered a salad of Ina Garten’s that I saw in her second last cookbook Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics published in 2008 by Clarkson Potter. I’ve made a couple of recipes from the book:
Both of which were also good (click on recipe titles for recipes at The Food Network). The salad here is a variation on Ina’s Cape Cod Chopped Salad and was delicious and we all enjoyed it a lot. Dried cranberries, crispy warm bacon cubes, blue stilton for us (cheddar for little peeps), toasted walnuts and fresh apple plus an orange-maple dressing. I thought it was a fabulous mix of tastes and textures, one that I’ve been asked to make again, and not just to use the Christmas leftovers!
Stilton, Bacon and Dried Cranberry Salad
I’ve upped the add ins, down scaled the dressing and changed the lettuce from rocket to romaine, for Ina’s recipe look here. We still had some dressing left over, but I’m good with having some of it in the fridge for later in the week. This makes three to four main course salad plates.
½ cup walnuts,
130g Pancetta cubes
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
2 Romaine Lettuces
½ cup Blue Stilton cheese (or cheese of your choice), crumbled
1 Pink Lady Apple
1 ½ tablespoons Cider Vinegar
½ teaspoon Orange Zest
1 tablespoon Orange Juice
1 slightly rounded teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
Salt and pepper
80ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dressing: Whisk everything together in a bowl and set aside.
Salad: Heat a sauté pan and toast the walnuts in it for one to two minutes, stirring to prevent them catching. Dry fry the pancetta until cooked and crispy, drain the cubes on kitchen paper on a plate. Peel, core and chop the apple. To assemble tear or chop the leaves and arrange on plates, scatter over the apple, walnuts, cranberries, bacon and blue cheese. Finally whisk the dressing again and drizzle a little over the salads, I used about a tablespoon per person.
Next review up: One Sweet Cookie