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Tutti Fruiti

The Cheese Society May 2014 Cheese Selection

With Summer just around the corner (no, really – we promise it is) its time to say  auf wiedersehen, arrivederci and au revoir to those hearty warming stews and aloha to meals that are a little lighter.

Salads often get bad press as the ‘healthy option’. This blog aims to herald the humble salad as something a whole lot more exciting and a little bit fruity (wink wink).  With regards to the leaves, we’ve left it up to you on purpose. The ‘green stuff’ can be a very personal thing. We just advise that you keep it varied with a nice mixture of crunch and pepperiness – and that it is as fresh as possible!

Definitely not for rabbits…

White Nancy:

This soft, tangy goat’s cheese would work wonderfully with caramelised onion, balsamic vinegar, rocket etc etc etc. And whilst this is a classic combination, maybe its time to shake things up a bit. Smoked duck is now available in most good supermarkets and is lovely for a special ‘school night’ meal. Top a nice bed of leaves with the duck, the goat’s cheese crumbled, pomegranate seeds and a rich beetroot vinaigrette. Go on its Monday – treat yourself.

 

Wyfe of Bath:

Many of our dishes in the café are inspired by French alpine dishes. Deliciously cheese orientated, you can’t go wrong. A Salade Savoyarde is another classic from this mountainous region, traditionally with sizzled bacon lardons, cubed Gruyère, boiled baby new potatoes and crunchy baguette croutons  with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The Wyfe of Bath has a gloriously nutty yet clean flavour , and a buttery smooth texture.  To anglicize this up a little, top your leaves with cubes of this Bath beauty, crispy slivers of good smoked back bacon, as well as the potatoes and mustardy dressing. To keep it fresh we suggest swapping the croutons for a handful of grapes.

Coverdale:

Coverdale is the most unusual of cheeses, with an almost yoghurty, yet citrus taste. It has an incredibly moreish texture, and is fantastic spread liberally on crisp breads. Inspired by a salad my Aunt brought back from her travels  round the Med (I have to admit, I can’t exactly remember where… ) top your leaves with the crumbled Coverdale, baby tangerine segments (take off the pith and inner membrane/skin – fiddly, but worth it in the long run) and toasted flaked almonds. If you’re after a protein kick, a grilled chicken breast works well too. The cheese is so creamy, and the fruit so juicy, that we didn’t bother with a dressing to be honest.

Bodnant Aberwen:

This little welsh lovely has been a big hit in my house this week. Full flavoured, yet brilliantly balanced, this refreshingly sweet but strong cheese won’t be hanging around in the fridge for long. As such, we made it the star of the show with this salad. We roasted some apple segments till they were caramelised little bursts of delight and topped our leaves simply with those and the cheese. Finished off with a really simple dressing of red wine vinegar, mustard, honey and olive oil.

Miss Muffet:

This adorably named Cornish cheese is reminiscent of a Tomme, with its supple texture and bloomy grey rind. Its nutty, creaminess means that it works well with sharp, sweet fruits. For something a little unusual, try grilling peach halves and tossing with your leaves and cubed Miss Muffet. Add blueberries for a burst of juice and candid pecans. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Who said salads were the healthy option….

So there you go, simple salads that can be whipped up (or perhaps ‘tossed up’ would be the more accurate phrase) in a matter of minutes, and yet are sure to impress even the most discerning of palates..