Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Recipe - Rachel Allen's Chicory, Blue Cheese, Pecan and Cranberry bites

As a member of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community I was asked to take part in Stoves Winter recipe recreation.

A little bit about Stoves UK; Founded in 1920, Stoves is one of the UK’s best loved cooking brands. It is also one of the only major kitchen appliance brands still committed to manufacturing in the UK with 100% of its freestanding cookers, built-in ovens and hobs and range cookers assembled at its Merseyside headquarters. All products are designed and built in the UK specifically with British cooks in mind. Stoves is a founding member of the Made in Britain campaign championing British manufacturing.

As a regular visitor to the BBC Good Food Show's, I love to catch some of the live cookery demonstrations on the Stoves stand. Over the four days there were a host of celebrity chefs cooking up a storm; from Brian Turner to Phil Vickery, Glynn Purnell to Rachel Allen.  One of the recipes that caught my attention was Rachel's quick and easy festive canapĂ© of Chicory boats with blue cheese, pecan and cranberries... Delicious. I turned this into a more substantial winter salad by adding some avocado (for protein), some stuffed baby peppers and a mixed salad of rocket, spinach and watercress. I drizzled a little of the dressing over the salad to bring it all together.

Rachel Allen's Chicory, Blue Cheese, Pecan and Cranberry Bites

Ingredients

  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
  • 1 and a half tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • A quarter of a tsp Dijon mustard 
  • Salt and black pepper to season
  • For the bites:
  • 12 pecans
  • 225g (8 oz) Cashel Blue Cheese, cut in to small cubes
  • 1 head chicory
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped very roughly
Method
  • Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a jam jar.
  • Toast the pecans on a baking tray at 180’C/350’F/Gas mark 4 for 5-10 minutes – don’t leave them as they burn easily. When cool, chop or crumble them roughly.
  • Trim the chicory and separate the leaves. Combine the cheese, nuts and cranberries in a bowl and toss with a little dressing. 
  • Place the chicory leaves on a plate and spoon in the nut and cheese mixture to serve as a simple festive canapĂ©.
Note - this can also be served as a winter you salad served on watercress leaves.