Blue Cheese Salad
Blue cheese is one of those foods that people either love or hate. For those of you who love it, you’re in luck because I, like you, have a particular affinity for smelly cheese. It is most likely one of the side effects of having lived in France. After a while, you start to develop a taste for funk. Not like Uptown Funk (though that’s my jam) I’m talking the foie gras, roquefort, and paté kind of funk. It’s that taste that had you tried these foods as a child would have immediately turned you off but as an adult with a little too much wine in your system you start to develop of a liking for. “It tastes a little off (funky) but I like it.”
I find myself craving the sharp, tangy complexity of blue cheese from time to time and have found one of my favourite ways to eat it is in home made blue cheese dressing. For the salad base I like to use iceberg lettuce. A lot of chefs hate on iceberg because it is quite bland and uninspiring compared to the many other mixed greens and lettuces that are now so readily available. I too find myself typically steering away from iceberg but for this salad I think that it’s neutrality and crunch make it the perfect base for such a flavourful, strong dressing and the wedges also make for a lovely plating presentation. Top off the salad with some crispy bacon bits and fresh chives and you’ve got yourself a gourmet, funked up lunch.
2 small heads of iceberg lettuce
4 Strips of bacon cut into small rectangular pieces
4.4 oz (125 grams) blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoon chopped chives
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chop each of your heads of lettuce into 4 wedges and place two of these wedges on each plate.
For the dressing, combine all the ingredients (blue cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, chopped chives, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper) mix well and set aside for the flavours to meld.
Chop up your bacon into lardons (small rectangles of bacon) and toss them in the pan over medium heat. Add a touch of oil should the bacon begin to catch on the pan. Cook the bacon pieces until crisp then empty the pan onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain off any excess fat.
Use a spoon to pour the blue cheese dressing onto the wedges of lettuce. Top with the crispy bacon and garnish with whole chives.