Courgette Ribbons and Blue Shropshire Cheese Salad
Portion/Yield:Serves 6 as a starter or as a side dish/accompaniment
Every summer the urge for healthier eating overcomes me. I’m not doing well at the moment though as all my ‘healthier’ ideas usually include one or two incredibly rich ingredients, and this recipe is no exception! It’s easy and with only a few ingredients, it’s simple too. Sometimes the simplest things taste the best.
I have chosen a particular cheese for this recipe as I liked the look of it and I have a special affection for stronger-tasting cheeses, especially blue cheeses, which get my vote in any shape or form. This cheese also appealed to me because of its lovely bright yellow colour; it looks summery to me.
The cheese dressing for this recipe, well, this is a new chapter in my life! Gosh, it’s so delicious, even if I say so myself! It’s quite thick and looks almost like a mayonnaise but it doesn’t contain any egg yolks. The dressing makes a little more than you’ll need, but this isn’t such a bad thing as the leftover dressing is delicious served over a simple garden salad.
The courgettes are sliced very thinly using a mandoline to create long ribbons, which look beautiful. The raw courgette ribbons and blue cheese dressing go together perfectly – I love this combination!
Ingredients & Method
For the Blue Shropshire cheese dressing
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 50g Long Clawson Blue Shropshire cheese, crumbled (or use any creamy blue-veined cheese of your choice)
- 5 tablespoons sunflower oil
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the courgette salad
- 3 firm medium green courgettes, trimmed
- 150g Long Clawson Blue Shropshire cheese, crumbled (or use any creamy blue-veined cheese of your choice)
- golden linseeds, for sprinkling
- fresh micro basil leaves (or use larger basil leaves and rip them into pieces), to finish
To make the dressing, measure the mustard, vinegar, water, crumbled cheese and salt and pepper into a jug and blend together using a hand-held stick blender until combined.
Slowly add the oil, while blending continuously, until all the oil is added and you have an emulsion. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more salt and pepper, if necessary. The dressing is quite thick (this is correct) and it’s almost the consistency of mayonnaise.
Transfer the dressing to a covered jam jar and set aside. Shake/stir the dressing just before use. (Any leftover dressing will keep in a covered jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.)
For the salad, use a mandoline to very thinly slice the courgettes lengthways into 1mm-thick slices, making long ribbons or strips of courgette. If you don’t have a mandoline, then use a vegetable peeler to do this.
Place the courgette ribbons in a mixing bowl, add a few spoonfuls of the dressing, along with some salt and pepper to taste, then lightly mix together.
Arrange the courgette ribbons on serving plates or in serving bowls, then drizzle or dot over more dressing to taste. Divide the crumbled cheese between the plates, sprinkle over some golden linseeds, then scatter over the micro basil leaves.
Serve immediately with crusty bread or as an accompaniment with barbecued chicken or pork chops.