We often eat this simple salad for lunch, only accompanied by crusty French baguette and a glass of wine! Feel free to substitute the Roquefort for a blue cheese that is readily available where you live; it is also superb with Stilton & Shropshire Blue cheese. I have served this as a dinner party starter & also in place of a "just" cheese course as well! If you cannot obtain walnut oil, any other nut oil will be fine, or a good olive oil. This recipe serves 6 people for a light luncheon or 8-10 people as a dinner party starter.
- 3 heads chicory lettuce or 3 heads endive, washed & the bottom root cut off
- 6 ounces Roquefort cheese or 6 ounces blue cheese, of your choice
- 4 ounces toasted fresh walnut pieces
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil or 1 tablespoon nut oil, of your choice
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons walnut vinegar or 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- To make the dressing whisk the two oils, mustard, vinegar, sugar & lemon juice together well.
- Season well with freshly ground black pepper & a touch of salt, the blue cheese is quite salty already.
- Keep the dressing at room temperature until serving. The dressing can be made up to 1 week ahead of time.
- To toast the walnuts, heat up a roomy frying pan over a high heat & add the walnuts. Pan-toast them for about 5-10 minutes, stirring around constantly until they are a deep golden colour but NOT dark brown or burnt! (You must keep an eye on them at all times.).
- Take off the heat & cool.
- Wash or wipe the chicory heads and cut 1" to 2" off the base of each one.
- Separate the leaves gently and wash again if necessary.
- Place the leaves into an attractive flat dish or on to a serving platter.
- Crumble over the blue cheese & pour over the dressing.
- Scatter the toasted walnuts over the top & serve immediately with crusty bread.