Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Homewood Fresh Ewe’s Cheese & Blood Orange Salad with Bristol Marmalade Croutons

In our ‘Montpelier Basement’ guise, ‘E’ and I were proud to be asked to provide lunch for the attendees of Bristol’s ‘Cheese School’ on Sunday, a fascinating regular class on all things cheese, jointly hosted by Trethowan’s Dairy and Food Writer Fiona Beckett, held at the Bordeaux Quay cookery school.

The brief was something light (as the ‘pupils’ had been gorging themselves on amazing artisan cheese all morning), but it also had to feature cheese in some way. (My initial thought of cheese& pineapple on cocktail sticks interspersed with Wotsits as a buffet option was swiftly vetoed).
Despite this initial setback (I mean come on! It fitted the brief perfectly), we eventually came up with an amazing yet simple and flavoursome cauliflower cheese soup using excellent Keen’s cheddar, this was topped with small pieces of welsh rarebit made with Trethowan’s own beautiful Gorwydd Caerphilly. (‘E’ has thoughtfully provided the recipe for the soup here on her blog).

In addition, we served a salad of our own invention, using sliced little gem, tossed with Homewood Fresh Ewe’s Cheese, Blood Orange segments and Bristol Marmalade Croutons. Over this we drizzled a warm marmalade dressing.

What’s really nice about this salad is that a local couple makes both the Cheese AND the Marmalade. Tim and Angela who actually met whilst selling their produce on adjoining stalls at a farmers market. (Tim selling his cheeses, Angela selling her jams and chutneys). Talk about ‘terroir’ eh? (If that reference just sailed over your head, ‘terroir’ is a bit of a vague slightly poncey French term to describe a special sense of 'place', with regards to food or wine.) I think this qualifies.

Anyway, enough of my babbling here’s the recipe….

Homewood Fresh Ewe’s Cheese & Blood Orange Salad with Bristol Marmalade Croutons

Serves 4

You’ll Need:-

2 x Little Gem Lettuce – leaves roughly shredded
1x Blood Orange – peeled, segmented and cut into 1cm chunks
2x slices of stale white bread, crusts removed and cut into 1cm cubes for croutons
Small 150g pot Homewood Fresh Ewe’s Milk Cheese
2-3 tbsp. Bristol Marmalade (Substitue normal Marmalade + a splash of Bristol sherry if unavailable).
4 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs Sherry Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
2 tsp Pumpkin Seeds – lightly toasted.

To Assemble:-

Arrange the shredded little gem lettuce in a large serving bowl.
Scatter the lettuce with Blood Orange chunks, toasted Pumpkin Seeds and then crumble over the Homewood Fresh Ewe’s Milk Cheese.

Make the marmalade croutons by melting a large knob of butter in a frying pan, when foaming add the bread cubes. Toss in the melted butter and fry until crisp and golden. Add a heaped tbsp of Bristol Marmalade to the pan, and coat the croutons as it melts. Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly to firm up before sprinkling the croutons over the salad.

To make the dressing, pour the Olive Oil into the same frying pan, with the Sherry Vinegar, and a heaped tbs of the Bristol Marmalade. Cook over a fairly high heat until the marmalade has melted and then drizzle the warm dressing over the finished salad. Season with salt and pepper and serve

PS – I think I should mention that Angela’s Bristol Marmalade is so called because it has Bristol Sherry in it. And for those outside Bristol looking to buy some Homewood Fresh Ewe’s milk Cheese, it’s stocked by Able & Cole.


Sanchita said...

A sweet and sour salad..never tried one but sounds delicious!

Dan said...

Sanchita - Thanks. I really liked it. The sweet taste of the marmalade works so well against the soft fresh ewe's cheese with little bursts of citrus from the blood orange.

fran39 said...

Aha! This is the very same yummy cheese I get from A&C...wonderful seasonal recipe, Dan. And I love the idea of the marmalade dressing.

straight from the den said...

yum. thanks for posting, has given me lots of ideas!