Bresaola, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

In a ‘gotta try something new’ state of mind I was browsing the virtual shelves of our online supermarket when I stumbled across something called bresaola. What a find!

If you haven’t done so yet, you should try it (make this recipe). ¬†If you have…damn you for keeping it a secret from me! ūüėČ

BresaolaHow would I describe it? ¬†Well, it’s air dried, salt beef, served sliced very, veeerry thinly and usually quite simply dressed. ¬†At the risk of bringing the wrath of real foodies upon my head for my failure to note all the subtleties, I’d say it’s kinda like a delicious beef version of Parma ham.

Isn’t that colour something special?

PearsThese beautifully ripe, russet skinned Taylor’s Gold pears seemed like a perfect partner for the cured beef.

GorgonzolaAnd to top things off, runny, ripe Gorgonzola providing a delicious, tangy contrast to the sweet pears and the salty beef.

Bresaola, gorgonzola and pear saladPour over a honey mustard & lemon dressing and it all comes together beautifully ūüôā


Ingredients
10-12 slices bresaola
2 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced (skin on)
100-150g gorgonzola (or other blue cheese), cut into chunks/crumbled
1 lemon, juice only
A glug of olive oil
A small knob of butter
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Watercress or other edible greenery
A handful of mixed cherry tomatoes
Music

Toss pear slices in a tablespoon or so of the lemon juice.

Cooked pearsHeat oil and butter in a frying pan and cook pear over a medium to high heat, until edges are turning brown.  Remove from pan and set to one side.

Dressing ingredientsMake dressing by mixing together remaining lemon juice, mustard and honey until well combined.  Season to taste.

Bresaola, pear and gorgonzola saladArrange watercress, tomatoes and bresaola on plate, scatter over cheese, top with pears and drizzle over dressing.

Feast!
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The food week that was – 16/03/15

Recording what we eat is proving to be an interesting and valuable exercise, although it’s not actually what this blog was supposed to be about (which reminds me, I must get ’round to changing the description line¬†before I get called out as a big fat fibber).

The primary benefit I’ve noticed so far has been the accidental promotion of mindful eating. ¬†Quite clearly it’s not a complete transformation¬†but it’s definitely happening. ¬†Let’s face it, you’re far less inclined to have a packet of Doritos, a Snickers and three cookies for dinner when you’re kinda committed to taking a picture of it and publicly displaying¬†it.

On top of that, in order to keep things interesting and avoid repetitiveness, again knowing things will be posted publicly, I’m tending to put¬†much more thought and effort into meal planning.

That said, it’s become apparent that this all goes to hell in a hand basket when we’re tired, under pressure in our day jobs and generally having a tough time one way or another. ¬†The times when we most need nourishing food, and extra vitamin dosage,¬†are¬†when we get ourselves into a downward spiral of increasingly lazy and poor food choices – how insane is that? ¬†This was dreadfully evident this week as we finished a takeaway or ready made meal, declared it to have been unsatisfying/flavourless/greasy/horrid, then up and did it again within 24 hours. ¬†How brainwashed by advertising and hooked on fat and sugar are we? ¬†On the upside – at least I’ve noticed it!

Anyway, this is how we alternated between abusing and restoring ourselves with food this week:

Gnocchi with GorgonzolaMonday: Gnocchi with gorgonzola, spinach and toasted walnuts.

I have a confession: this was the first time any of us had eaten gnocchi. ¬†I don’t¬†know why… ¬†It will definitely not be the last time – this meal was absolutely gorgeous, and unbelievably quick to make. ¬†Here’s how:

  • Toast around 40g walnut halves or pieces and set to one side.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil – keep it boiling!
  • While the pan of water is coming to boiling point, put about 200ml of double cream and around 200g gorgonzola into a different pan¬†(!) – stir gently over a low heat until cheese has melted – add plenty of freshly ground black pepper – keep it warm.
  • Add 500g chilled gnocchi to the pan of boiling water – cook until they float to the top (2-4 minutes). ¬†Drain well and return to pan.
  • Stir in gorgonzola sauce, about half of the toasted walnuts and around¬†150-200g of fresh spinach leaves. ¬†Transfer to an oven proof dish. ¬†Top with remaining walnuts and a good grating of parmesan cheese and bung it under the grill under it’s golden brown and bubbling.
  • Serve with green salad leaves (watercress is good) – a simple lemon juice dressing works well.
  • Stuff food into face and make ‘mmmmm’ noises.

Subway signTuesday: We ate from here.

Fish & ChipsWednesday:¬†That’s what we had.

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