Summer is nearly over but I am still hoping for a few days of sunshine. Sunshine in Derbyshire in September? That’s impossible you may say. Call me a dreamer but I still think we can have Indian summer here! And what you don’t want is a heavy lunch when it is nice and sunny outside. Don’t worry, I got your back. I share with you my favourite summer salad recipe. Rocket leaves mixed with pear and homey mustard dressing is a perfect combination of peppery and sweet flavours. Add goat’s cheese for creaminess, walnuts for a bit of crunch and all you need is a warm, sunny day to enjoy it. You can thank me later. This dish takes no more than 15 minutes to put together so you don’t have to slave in the kitchen when it’s nice outside. Surprisingly though it is rather quite filling for a salad and thanks to the cheese and walnuts it leaves you satisfied for longer. This salad is simply perfect for a light lunch.
for the salad
- 60g washed rocket leaves
- 100g hard goat’s cheese cut into 8 slices
- 1 pear (just ripe but not over ripe)
- 50g walnuts
- 1 heaped tblsp brown sugar
for the dressing
- 100ml olive oil
- 30ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 tblsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp runny honey
- Put the sugar with a tablespoon of water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Wait until all of the sugar has dissolved and is just about starting to bubble (don’t burn it or the caramel will become bitter). Put in the walnuts and take it off the heat. Toss the walnuts around to ensure they are evenly coated with the caramel. Spread them on a piece of greased baking parchment to cool down.
- Meanwhile prepare the dressing. Pour all of the dressing ingredients in a clean jar with a lid. Screw the lid tight and shake well until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Julienne the pear. If you don’t have julienne peeler you can grate it roughly instead.
- To assemble the salad divide the pear and rocket leaves between two salad bowls and mix well. Place 4 goat’s cheese slices in the middle of each bowl and scatter the walnuts around.
- Blow torch cheese slices gently (if you don’t have blow torch place the cheese slices under pre heated grill for 10 – 20 seconds) and drizzle with the dressing.
Serve with grilled slice of sourdough bread and a glass of chilled Riesling.