13 September 2013

GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE

GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE
I cannot believe it's been 3 months since I posted the last recipe. Not that I stopped thinking about food, or eating it - I doubt that either of the aforementioned are even possible... Nöi, nöi, nöi, apart from summer being super-busy, as summer always is, with job, vacation, the usual birthday weekends away, family visits, and enjoying many lovely and lazy hot summer evenings in Brussels, we spent the last few months experimenting with pizza dough - but more of that to come later! I am trying to catch up with photos and notes I took during these months and never got round to finishing or posting, but as the weather is changing into its end of summer Brussels-Grey, with the evenings chilly, and the sun-chairs on the terrace more and more wet and uninviting, hopefully there will be plenty of time to catch up. 
GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE

So, finally re-starting with this salad that we made many times during the summer, either as BBQ side-dish - you can make it of course directly on the BBQ (yes I know, that advice is a little late now) or just as a salad or light dinner on its own. We call it a 'comfy-warm-salad' as it is richer than the usual cold, fresh-leaf raw salad, with the chicory buds still a little warm and because of the rich cheese that makes it for us a full dinner. Chicory can be a little bitter, but once griddled and dressed with balsamic vinegar it loses it's bitterness; and the combination with garlic, thyme and feta is really so flavoursome, it leaves nothing to be desired. Tip: sprinkle the feta cheese over at the end but don't stir it under as the balsamic vinegar will colour it brown. 

Recipe based on, and as I remember seeing it on: Jamie Oliver's 'Meals in 30 Minutes'
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Serves 2 as a light dinner:
10 small yellow chicory
extra virgin olive oil
salt
freshly milled black pepper
balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and crushed
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves only
app. 100 g feta cheese
GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE
Wash the chicory, discard any discoloured leaves or bits, then cut off the brown ends, making sure that the buds stay intact and the outer leaves don't fall off. Cut in half lengthwise. 
GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE
Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the chicory with the flat side down in the pan (or put them on the BBQ!), no oil needed. Turn them over every so often until they are nicely 'zebra'-charred on both sides. 
GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE
Move the chicory to a chopping board and chop them into smaller pieces. Place the pieces into a salad bowl. Add the salt, pepper, thyme leaves, a couple of splashes of balsamic vinegar, and the crushed garlic. Stir well. 
GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE
Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. When you are happy with the seasoning, add the olive oil and stir under. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top, but do not stir at this point as the cheese will take on the brown colour from the Balsamic vinegar. Mill a little more black pepper on top of the cheese. Decorate with a couple of branches of thyme sprigs and serve. 
GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE


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GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE 



GRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESEGRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESEGRIDDLED CHICORY SALAD WITH FETA CHEESE

Serves 2 as a light dinner

10 small white chicory
extra virgin olive oil
salt
freshly milled black pepper
balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and crushed
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled off
app. 100 g feta cheese

Wash the chicory, discard any discoloured leaves or bits, then cut off the brown ends, making sure that the buds stay intact and the outer leaves don't fall off. Cut in half lengthwise. Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the chicory with the flat side down in the pan (or put them on the BBQ!), no oil needed. Turn them over every so often until they are nicely 'zebra'-charred on both sides. Move the chicory to a chopping board and chop them into smaller pieces. Place the pieces into a salad bowl. Add the salt, pepper, thyme leaves, a couple of splashes of balsamic vinegar, and the crushed garlic. Stir well. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Only when the seasoning is right, add the olive oil and stir under. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top, but do not stir at this point as the cheese will take on the brown colour from the Balsamic vinegar. Mill a little more black pepper on top of the cheese. Decorate with a couple of branches of thyme sprigs and serve. 
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