White Stilton, Bacon, Walnut, with a Vodka Vinegarette Salad #BetterthanFetaSimon Spurrell
White Stilton, Bacon, Walnut & Hartington Vodka & Honey Vinegarette Salad
Feta cheese has become very popular in the UK and we want to redress the imbalance and point out that the King of British Cheese namely Stilton is ‘Better than Feta’! White Stilton has all of the texture characteristics as Greek Feta and we think tastes a lot better than Feta. This super easy to make recipe uses our b Cheese as the main ingredient with the excellent pairings of bacon and walnuts, or if you can find them English Kentish Cobnuts are the preferred option. The unusual dressing for this tasty salad uses our Hartington Whey Vodka and local Derbyshire Dales honey. Vodka pairs really well with cheese, as the high alcohol content of the spirit can cut through the fattiness of a cheese and coat your palate. Our Vodka and Gin is artisan made by Cuckoostone Distillery from our Stilton Whey, so this is a perfect cheesy combination that completes this dish.
For the salad for four people as a starter or two as the main course:
- 1 bag of mixed salad leaves, we recommend sweet and sharp leaves, romaine and rocket
- 200g Wedge of Hartington White Stilton or Peakland White Cheese cubed or broken into small pieces
- 100g diced Bacon lardons or chopped rashers
- 100g of Walnuts or if you can find them English Cobnuts
For the Vodka Vinegarette dressing:
- 60ml Hartington Whey Vodka or Hartington Gin
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped basil leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey we used Derbyshire Dales Honey
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 150ml British Virgin Rape Seed oil
- Whisk together the finely minced shallot, chopped basil leaves, Vodka, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
- Put your Rape Seed oil in a measuring cup just so that it’s easier to slowly drizzle it into the prepared salad.
- To avoid any splitting of the vinegarette, gradually drizzle the oil into the Vodka mixture while whisking constantly until your dressing thickens.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Taste before serving just in case the dressing needs more seasoning or another splash of Hartington Whey Vodka.
The Salad Preparation:
- Heat a tablespoon of oil to a heavy-based pan and fry the bacon until crispy. At the end of the frying process add the broken or halved walnuts into the pan and turn off the heat. Stir them in for a couple of minutes to become coated with the bacon oil and flavour. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
- Prepare the salad leaves in a large bowl and add the vinegarette and toss them in the mixture until all of the leaves are coated.
- Portion the salad into two main or 4 starter course sized plates or bowls.
- Scatter the bacon and walnuts into each bowl on top of the salad before dividing and adding the White Stilton Cheese.
Recipe by Simon Spurrell