Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Berkswell, tomato and bobby bean salad

Here's a great idea for a salad I came across the other day at a Restaurants in Residence event in Docklands which was hosted by the supper club Shacklewell Nights.

It was put together by Jonathan Woolway, who's a sous-chef at St John and bore its trademark stamp of simply cooked seasonal ingredients.

This how he prepared it. (I've left it as he wrote it as I think it reads admirably well.)

Large vine tomatoes halved and roasted long & slow (with xtra virgin, s&p, bay, thyme) till they start to yield on the sides.
Bobby beans are blanched and then refreshed to maintain bite and colour.
Pea shoots
Olive oil croutons
Sherry vinaigrette (1 part sherry vinegar, 3 parts olive oil)
Grated Berkswell [sheeps' cheese] tossed through the salad and shaved Berkswell on the top.

I had a go at it last night sans pea shoots which I couldn't find locally and it worked almost as well but would suggest a couple of tips:

* Make the croutons out of a light bread like ciabatta so they go crunchy without getting hard

* I don't think you need sherry vinegar necessarily. A good red wine vinegar would do, possibly with a few extra drops of balsamic.

* the Berkswell I used didn't quite add the piquancy I was looking for and tasted in the original. If you can't find a really nutty one, try an aged pecorino or even parmesan.

But a great salad - fresh and seasonal. Just lovely at this time of year.

You can see my write-up of the other dishes and wine pairings on my website matchingfoodandwine.com

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