Monday, September 26, 2011

Decadent Salad to Celebrate a Sunny Autumn

Could you believe that we actually enjoyed an alfresco meal by the waterside yesterday evening? I'm finding it hard to believe myself, but I went ahead and even had a pastis as an apéritif, something I usually do only when the weather is what I would call ' French'. And it looks like someone up there is looking at us poor Dutchies with eyes of mercy because the weather forecast is promising more of this fab weather for the week ahead! Must be our reward after a miserable summer...
My plan for today was to make some pumpkin soup with the two cute, little pumpkins I bought at the organic harvest fair yesterday, but now that I see how happy the sun is, I'm more inclined to make something more fitting- like a fresh, tasty, yet autumnal salad. And this one just happens to be one of my favorites! I love blue cheese and pears, and the addition of tasty morsels of crispy lardons, makes this salad decidedly decadent. 
Bon Appétit!

Decadent Autumn Salad with Blue Cheese, Pears and Lardons
Serves 4
250g lardons
½ romaine lettuce, shredded
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 large, red onion, halved and each half very thinly sliced
150g blue cheese (bleu d’Auvergne), crumbled
1 large, sweet pear, cored and chopped
80g walnuts, roughly chopped

For the vinaigrette
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mosterd
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

Fry the lardons in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they are browned and crispy. Drain them and set aside. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Add the two kinds of salad to the bowl and toss so that everything is coated with the dressing. Divide the dressed salad among four plates. Top with the onions, cheese, pears, lardons and walnuts. Serve with some bread and enjoy!

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