Strawberry, Blue Cheese and Balsamic Salad

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Planning a date night? Promised to cook something special?  I’ve got you covered.  This is the most romantic salad you can plate up, and having it on a share platter makes it even more special.  The combination of flavours are sweet, peppery, tangy and nutty.  Serve it on  a share platter, with tuna or salmon steaks, eye fillet steaks or chicken breasts on small single plates. It works beautifully with champagne, or even better – a chambord royale (chambord liquer with champagne).  We had it with a cocktail of chambord, vodka, soda water and mint leaves.  Never forget the candles and music.  Your romantic evening awaits.

Ingredients

  • 9 strawberries, halved
  • A few handfuls of spinach and rocket mix
  • A handful of walnuts
  • Half a block (approx. 40g or so) of blue cheese, chopped into very small chunks (don’t go cheap on the cheese – splurge the good stuff because you don’t need a lot and your loved one deserves a treat)
  • Balsamic glaze (you can buy this in a squeeze bottle at most grocery stores now for about $6)
  • 2 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp high quality olive oil

(If you can’t get balsamic glaze, then 1.5 x the amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and add 1/4 tsp of brown sugar to the dressing)

Potential Spins

Swap the blue cheese for goats cheese.  I wouldn’t swap for feta, though – while I love feta it would be the wrong flavour profile for this meal.  Add some sliced red onion.  I suppose you could add some sliced chicken which had been marinated in balsamic vinegar if you wanted, but I love it just as it is.

Method

  1. Toast your walnuts over a hot frypan for a minute or two until golden brown, then remove them from the heat.
  2. Drizzle a zig zag pattern of balsamic glaze on a share platter/plate (if you don’t have one like mine, then just use a round plate between the two of you)
  3. Drop a few handfuls of spinach and rocket mix on top of your balsamic glaze, then top with strawberries, walnuts and blue cheese.
  4. Mix the balsamic vinegar and olive oil (and brown sugar if you don’t have balsamic glaze).  Using a teaspoon, slowly drizzle the amount that feels right over your salad.  Light the candles, pour the drinks and serve!

Our Take Aways

This salad is beautiful and decadent.  It took almost no time to throw together, so could even make a lovely surprise afternoon tea on the balcony with some bubbles or on its own.  We will definitely make this again.
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