Springtime vygies and daisies are starting to peek their faces out of their deep winter sleep and to bask in the new warmth of our sun. There is a promise that winter will finally end and summer will return. This reminded me to check my scales and find, as I had expected, that there are a couple of extra kilos that I have put on during my wintery hibernation. Therefore I decided to start eating more healthily which means lots of salads and less starch. To make the salads interesting and appetising I like to try out different sauces and ingredients. With my cheeses, especially the Blues, I can create some wonderfully flavoured dressings. In this week’s recipe I made a creamy salad dressing by combining buttermilk, olive oil, vinegar and the unpasteurised Fourme d’Ambert. This raw milk, blue cheese which has been made around the town of Ambert for thousands of years, has a subtle but distinctive flavour, neither acid nor overpowering. This salad can be served as a light meal or starter or can be accompanied by grilled, free range chicken breasts for a more substantial meal. I recommend pairing this salad with a subtle white wine such as a Chablis from William Fevre.
Ingredients for 4 guests:
- 1 Large bag of butter lettuce, baby gem or Romaine hearts salad
- 200g Fourme d’ambert (or Bleu d’Auvergne)
- 12 radishes
- 2 cups of organic buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons of E Fallot walnut vinegar from the French Market shop
- 4 tablespoons of extra vigin olive oil (plus olive oil in which to fry chicken optional)
- 4 chicken breasts (optional)
- 1 small bunch fresh chives
- Salt and pepper to taste
A bottle of William Fevre Chablis from the French Market in Cape Town
- If you are serving chicken breasts with the salad, start by sauteing chicken breasts in olive oil for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are cooked through. (They should be opaque all the way through when cut into).
- Wash salad leaves, radishes and chives and dry thoroughly.
- Place salad leaves in a bowl.
- Slice radishes thinly
- Chop chives
- Crumble cheese into a mixing bowl
- Add vinegar and squish cheese into vinegar
- Add buttermilk and whisk
- Add in olive oil and whisk
- Add salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Mix radishes into the salad leaves.
- Pour dressing over and mix in gently
- Chop chives into short lenths and decorate over the top of the salad.
- Lightly grate some black pepper over salad
- Slice warm (or cold) chicken breasts and serve on a plate with the salad.
Serve with a glass of delicate Chablis from William Fevre.