Friday, 26 July 2013

Cherry, goat cheese and pistachio salad with vincotto dressing

When life (your Mother in Law) gives you a big tub of ruby red cherries what do you do? Well you make a cherry and goats cheese salad of course! Now you may not think that cherries go on a salad like this but the sweet cherry juice with the goats cheese works a treat. In fact it's traditional in parts of the Pyrenees to eat goat cheese with a cherry preserve. Topped with the crunchy pistachios this salad was a delight.

The salad is based on this recipe from the New York Times but with a few changes. Instead of balsamic in the vinaigrette I used a tablespoon of lemon flavoured vincotto which we picked up in the market in Copenhagen. Vincotto is an Italian condiment made by reducing wine down till it's sticky, sweet and a little bit sour. It can easily be replaced with good balsamic in this recipe.The rocket was replaced with some romaine leaves and instead of sherry vinegar I used some of my home-made (and quite sherry-like) porter vinegar. Beer vinegars are very easy to make so do have a go and let us know how you get on

The recipe is so simple that it's barely worth writing down but here is it anyway.

  • Some torn romaine lettuce leaves
  • A big handful of ripe cherries, halved and pitted 
  • A handful of toasted and chopped pistachios. You can toast these in a non stick frying pan 
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar. I used my deeply tasty porter vinegar. 
  • 1.5 teaspoons of vincotto 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • As much soft and crumbly goats cheese as you think you need

1. Combine the torn lettuce, cherries and half the nuts in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, salt and pepper and olive oil. Toss with the salad. Arrange on a the plates, sprinkle the goat cheese and remaining pistachios over the top, and serve.

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