Saturday, April 25, 2009

Orange, hazelnut and goat's cheese salad

Hello everyone, this week I have had the luxury of a bit more time on my hands and I have been looking at other blogs written by food lovers. One of the most impressive is Grab Your Fork which details the author's eating adventures, and my, she does a lot! I also came across Not Quite Nigella when trying to find the name of a new chocolate shop I had visited recently. I was a bit overwhelmed for a while looking at some of the other blogs as they are so beautifully done with photos and links to other sites, but in the end I figured that I only ever intended to stick up a few helpful recipes and don't think I'm going to let this mission take over my life!

As my contribution to the restaurant reviewing game however, I must report that I enjoyed an excellent meal with the most charming service at Kika Tapas Bar (the website is still coming but it's a handy reminder) in Darlinghurst during the week. Yes, my Spanish passion continues unabated and if anything it was further fired here with the most luscious jamon and crispy churros. Definitely a must-return.

This week's recipe offers something a little lighter - back to a nice winter salad now that the days are a little shorter and cooler. I made this for dinner one night and loved it. It's from my Growers Market book, a never ending source of inspiration for seasonal goodies.

Have a wonderful week. Love from Jane xx

Orange, hazelnut and goat's cheese salad

Serves four

What you need:
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and rubbed in a clean teatowel to remove the skins
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 250g watercress, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup baby English spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
  • Segments from two oranges (peeled)
  • 300g firm goats cheese, sliced into 4 equal portions

What you do:
  1. Make the dressing by combining the nuts, juices, and a pinch of salt in a food processor.
  2. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil a few drops at a time. When about half the oil has been added, pour in the remainder in a steady stream.
  3. Pick the leaves from the watercress and combine in a bowl with the spinach, orange segments and two tablespoons of the dressing.
  4. Toss to combine and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Arrange the salad on four serving plates.
  6. Heat a small non stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and brush the pan lightly with olive oil.
  7. When the oil is hot, carefully press each slice of goats cheese firmly into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until a crust has formed on the cheese.
  8. Carefully remove the cheese from the pan and arrange on top of the salads, crust side up.
  9. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve.