Stichelton is a delicious, unpasteurised blue cheese, made to the original Stilton recipe at the Welbeck Dairy in Nottinghamshire. I first tried this at the School of Artisan Food on the Welbeck estate, at one of their amazing lunches during a baking course.
I bought my cheese from the Welbeck farm shop, where I can easily spend way too much money as there are so many good things to buy! I love it with the apple sourdough that I always buy a loaf of when I go there too.
Blue cheese and bacon go so well together and with the addition of toasted pecans and a few tart, dried cranberries, this salad is one of my favourite lunches. Sometimes I add grilled chicken for a substantial warm salad that is good any time of the year. I serve this with a simple honey and mustard dressing
I usually use smoked streaky bacon for this salad, but I bought some black treacle cured, smoked back bacon today, which worked really well.
This is enough for 1-2 people, but the quantities can easily be increased.
Mixed salad leaves – baby leaves, spinach, Rocket/Arugula, Romaine – anything you like
4-6 slices of good quality smoked streaky bacon with the rind removed or 2-3 slices of black treacle cured smoky back bacon
Stichelton or Stilton blue cheese at room temperature with the rind removed
Red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful of pecans, toasted in the oven for 5 minutes
A few craisins (dried cranberries)
1tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp Wholegrain mustard
2tsp Runny honey
4tsp Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper if desired
Pre heat the oven to 220°C/430°F
Line a baking sheet with foil and place the bacon on the sheet. Cook for around 10 minutes or until crisp and chop into rough pieces.
Arrange the leaves, warm pecans, cranberries and tomatoes on the plate and whisk the ingredients for the dressing until you have a nice, slightly thickened consistency.
Toss the salad gently in the dressing. Break the Stichelton into large crumbles and top with the hot bacon, toss gently once more and serve immediately.