The Other Half’s step-dad has a wonderful knack for giving random gifts. This week turned out to be no exception and we were presented with a Spitfire jigsaw puzzle, a bag of paraphernalia warning against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and half a kilo of walnuts. I’ll spare you the first two but look at these lovelies:
I recently won a competition that the Colston Bassett dairy was running on Twitter and was chuffed to receive some of their Stilton and Shropshire Blue a few weeks later. I sometimes find that Stilton has a bitter edge to it but this is lovely stuff, creamy and sharp but without any kind of unpleasant side. However, despite the fact that I could eat it by the spoonful they did send me an amount that made the EU butter mountain look like a molehill so I’ve been looking for different ways to guzzle it. Blue cheese and walnuts are a classic combination and there were a couple of pears lurking in the fruit-bowl so it all started to come together as the perfect summer lunch.
Chicory would have been the ideal green, its bitter greens contrasting with the creamy cheese and sweet pears but there was none to be found in the local shops. I bought watercress instead and then on the way home across the common got to thinking about dandelions. Dandelions to me have always meant rabbit food and the potential of weeing the bed if you pick them but I’ve also read about their tangy young leaves being a great addition to salads and so the search began. At first I was apprehensive; dandelions against a wall – a dog’s probably weed on them; dandelions on the grass – a dog’s probably weed on them; dandelions by the pavement…you get the picture. But then I discovered some beneath a hedge that even the most determined Chihuahua would have had trouble squeezing under. Pretty soon my carrier bag runneth over.
This is not a recipe that requires lengthy explanation. Simply shell the walnuts and wash the dog wee off the greens. Peel , core and slice the pears and crumble the cheese. Toss it all together and dress with virgin olive oil. Eat with crusty bread and butter.
I’ll let you know if I wee the bed tomorrow…
Because this salad contains foraged dandelions, I have entered it in Foodie Laura’s Nature’s Lunchbox Challenge.