Serves 4 by Mark Hix
There are still good leaves around in the winter months such as watercress, rocket and small spinach leaves. This is a good light salad or starter. Barkham blue is one of my favourite British blue cheeses, made at Two Hoots Cheese (0118-976 0401; or e-mail twohoots.fc@btinternet.com) near Wokingham by Sandy Rose who has also just won the Best British Cheese in the British Cheese Awards. You can also buy it at Paxton and Whitfield (paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk). Couple of handfuls of small salad leaves such as buck leaf sorrel, landcress or watercress.

INGREDIENTS

  • Couple of handfuls of small salad leaves such as buck leaf sorrel,
  • Landcress or watercress
  • 2 ripe conference pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin 2-inch strips
  • 30-40 good quality walnut halves
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 1tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 120-150g Barkham blue cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
  • 1tsp grain mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut the walnuts on a tray; scatter with sea salt, then drizzle over a tablespoon of olive or rapeseed oil. Lightly colour under a preheated grill for a few minutes, turning every so often. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing; toss the leaves and pears in the dressing and arrange on plates. Break the cheese into small pieces and scatter on the salad.
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