HERO PRODUCT ALERT!
In a harmonious series of events, my trip to John Lewis to buy my mother's birthday present led me to the food hall where I encountered the mindblowing taste of A L'Olivier Framboise, (£5.99), a truly scrumptious raspberry vinegar that was so thick with fruit pulp it might as well have taken a trip to the deed poll and changed its name to dressing.
A few days later, I was reminded of this luscious fancy when enjoying a starter at the National Portrait Gallery restaurant that took a similar dressing, but whizzed it up with stilton, honey-toasted walnuts, chicory and salad. It was absolutely amazing, and I began obsessing about serving it up at a lunch party I was having in Hampshire for my family and 17 friends.
Originally I'd planned to toast the walnuts in a lazy homage to the NPG version, but confusion with my mother's Aga led to the poor dears being burnt to an unrescuable crisp. Happily, she found a bag of pieces in her cupboard at which we rejoiced enormously. You can do whatever you like with yours, but honestly: untoasted, unhoneyed walnuts tasted brilliant with the sluttish version of this salad.
I also ditched the chicory, for the simple reason that I had complete chicory-block and life was too short to figure out what on earth to do with it.
Stilton and Walnut Salad with Raspberry Dressing - serves 10
215g good Stilton, crumbled (I used Tesco's Finest Long Clawson because I'd left Waitrose and couldn't be arsed to go back)
200g walnut pieces
Two to three bags of salad
A L'Olivier Framboise to serve
Layer your salad, stilton and walnuts in a vast bowl. Pour over a decent whack of the dressing and toss, then pour over a little more for style. Serve to your friends, then realise the buggers have eaten it all and you're going to need to make more.
This is a perfect summer salad, especially if you want to make something with huge impact and zero time. Unfortunately, I had zero time, so instead of a picture of this delicious salad, you can have a picture of my bloggette friend Jess managing to grab a last bit. Enjoy!