Roquefort salad with warm croutons & lardons

Roquefort salad with croutons and lardons

Serves 4

  • olive oil

  • 250 g piece higher-welfare smoked bacon, rind removed

  • 2 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 1cm pieces

  • 4 large handfuls lamb's lettuce, watercress or rocket, washed and spun dry

  • 2 large handfuls radicchio, washed and spun dry

  • 1 large handful shelled walnut halves, sliced

  • 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

  • 100 g Roquefort cheese

  • For the dressing

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Put a large frying pan on a high heat, and once hot, add a good couple of lugs of olive oil. Cut your bacon into thick 1cm lardons (have a look at the picture – that's roughly the size your croutons and bacon should be), and add to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally, for around 3 minutes, or until you've got a good bit of colour on the bacon and a lot of the fat has rendered out. Turn the heat down a little and add your bread to the pan, making sure you spread the croutons out so they take on some colour. Fry for another 3 minutes, or until they've sucked up all the wonderful flavour and are lovely, crisp and golden.



Put the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a clean jam jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake, then have a taste and make sure you've got the balance right. You want it to be slightly too acidic at this stage, as you'll get quite a bit of saltiness from the bacon and French dressings tend to be quite sharp.



Once your dressing is made, get everyone around the table so they're ready to tuck in as soon as the salad is ready. Put your salad leaves on a big platter, tear in the radicchio, then pour over that wonderful, thick dressing. Scatter over most of your walnuts and chives and all the croutons and lardons. Quickly mix it all up with your clean hands so that every single leaf is coated.



Use the tip of a knife to crumble off little nuggets of Roquefort and let them fall straight on to your salad. Finish by scattering over the rest of the walnuts and chives from a height, and tuck in.

Nutritional Information

Roquefort salad with warm croutons & lardons

With a kick-ass mustard dressing

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Serves 4
20m
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Method

Roquefort is a fantastic cheese, with a great story behind it. A few hundred years ago there was a guy out in the forest eating some cheese, when a foxy chick walked past. Not wanting to miss out, he threw his cheese into a cave to keep it safe and ran after the girl. He returned a few weeks later to retrieve his cheese and found it had gone mouldy, but in a good way, and had really matured. Ever since then, proper authentic Roquefort has to be aged in those same stone caves of Mont Combalou at Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Genius! This salad really shows off the Roquefort, and several other great French ingredients, most of which can be found without any trouble here in the UK. It's worth getting the smoked bacon from the butcher so you have lovely extra-large hand-cut lardons for this. The kick-ass mustard dressing adds a bit of flair at the end, and ultimately, this salad is my homage to my dear French friends and that lucky man from all those years ago who invented such a great cheese and hopefully had one of the best bunk-ups of his life!

Put a large frying pan on a high heat, and once hot, add a good couple of lugs of olive oil. Cut your bacon into thick 1cm lardons (have a look at the picture – that's roughly the size your croutons and bacon should be), and add to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally, for around 3 minutes, or until you've got a good bit of colour on the bacon and a lot of the fat has rendered out. Turn the heat down a little and add your bread to the pan, making sure you spread the croutons out so they take on some colour. Fry for another 3 minutes, or until they've sucked up all the wonderful flavour and are lovely, crisp and golden.

Put the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a clean jam jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake, then have a taste and make sure you've got the balance right. You want it to be slightly too acidic at this stage, as you'll get quite a bit of saltiness from the bacon and French dressings tend to be quite sharp.

Once your dressing is made, get everyone around the table so they're ready to tuck in as soon as the salad is ready. Put your salad leaves on a big platter, tear in the radicchio, then pour over that wonderful, thick dressing. Scatter over most of your walnuts and chives and all the croutons and lardons. Quickly mix it all up with your clean hands so that every single leaf is coated.

Use the tip of a knife to crumble off little nuggets of Roquefort and let them fall straight on to your salad. Finish by scattering over the rest of the walnuts and chives from a height, and tuck in.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 559 28%
  • Carbs 14.6g 6%
  • Sugar 1.9g 2%
  • Fat 43.9g 63%
  • Saturates 13.4g 67%
  • Protein 24.9g 55%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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