Pear, Cavolo Nero & Blue Cheese Salad, Cobnuts, Buttermilk & Honey Dressing
September is a transition month in the gardens and on our menus, with ingredients that nod towards autumn, yet still have all the flavours of summer. This fresh light salad is ideal as a starter, light lunch or supper. The pears, so few last year, have had a year of ideal growing conditions and the harvest is sweet and plentiful. It is also cobnut season, this green nut adds such a fresh seasonal flavour to the recipe; hazelnuts would also work, but if you can find cobnuts enjoy them before the season ends in October. For the leaf we have used young Cavolo Nero, but any fresh kale will work perfectly well, as long as the leaves are soft and delicate. There is the promise of an Indian Summer in the air and this dish captures that feeling, looking truly autumnal yet delivering a taste of summer.
Serves 4 as a starter
For the salad:
- 2 Comice pears, ripe, sliced very thin
- 200g Cavolo Nero leaves, washed, spun dry
- 200g Fresh cobnuts, de-shelled, cut in half
- 300g Barkham Blue cheese (or any preferred creamy blue cheese), broken roughly into bite-sized pieces
For the dressing:
- 500ml Buttermilk
- 100g clear honey
- Few drops of muscatel or cider vinegar
- Sea salt flakes
- Cracked black pepper
- For the dressing place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together to form the dressing. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.
- Place the pears, nero, and blue cheese in a large mixing bowl, gently toss all ingredients together
- When nicely mixed together then divide evenly the salads between your 4 serving dishes/bowls.
- Just before serving scatter the cobnuts over each of the plates and either drizzle the buttermilk dressing over each one or serve on the side and allow your guests to help themselves.