Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Warm Goats Cheese Salad

Last week in Lidl there were special offers on goats cheese and Spanish vinegar. There were two types of goat cheese on offer. One was a Portuguese Queijo de Cabra, the other was a French Chevre. This is a great salad, based on a typical French Pyrenees dish, but with a bit of a Spanish twist.
Its very quick and cheap, and tastes absolutely lovely, the main theme is the salty bacon offset by the clean, cool taste of the cheese, the sharpness of the mustard dressing and the warm crunchy croûton's.
I would not use Cheddars, Gouda or Edam types.
Any decent mild cheese will do the trick, if you have the cash, Roquefort is the classic, but I find it a little too strong for my taste in this dish.
What I really like is that you can have a full meal or light snack in about 5 minutes

I used the Queijo de Cabra in this meal.
For the bacon I just used offcuts from rashers that I used in another meal, so it was using up leftovers.
Streaky bacon is the perfect type, essentially it is the rendered bacon fat that you get into the bread.
The lettuce is homegrown.

To give this meal a more Irish flavour, use croûton's made from rebaked, dried and decrusted Soda bread or even Potato Soda bread that I will post here at a later date.

2 Rashers of bacon, diced up
2 slices of toasted sourdough, diced.
50g Diced Queijo de Cabra.
50g Chopped walnuts
1 Tsp Wholegrain mustard.
Half a head Raddichio type bitter lettuce, Spinach is an alternative.
Half a head of your favorite lettuce, I used Butterhead. 

140 ml good olive oil (I added a little wallnut oil)
30 ml White wine vinegar
30 ml Spanish sherry vinegar
Two tsp Colman's English mustard
clove of Garlic
Pinch of ground Pepper
Pinch of salt (I like to use Maldon salt for salads)

Put a little oil in a heavy based pot.
Fry the chopped bacon in the base of the pot, rendering out the fat.
Add the croûton's and the wholegrain mustard, the croûton's soak up the bacon fat.

Meanwhile chop the lettuce rougly, wash and dry.
Put into a bowl with the cheese. and mix

Add the croûton's, bacon and chopped wallnut's

Pour over dressing, mix well and serve.

An ideal side salad or by increasing the lettuce content it makes a great meal in itself served with a chilled Rosé or a white, maybe a Chardonnay.

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