Monday, June 1, 2015

Petite Lettuce Greens, Gala Apple, Purple Cauliflower and Walnuts with Danish Bleu Cheese Cabernet Sauvignon Vinaigrette





     A Tasty Café Style Salad!
     This is a nice tasting salad, but the flavor combination can be difficult to imagine!  All I can say is the flavors go well together.
     The original Roquefort Salad Dressing was created at Antoine's of New Orleans.  The original Antoine's recipe required only a vinaigrette to be used to make the original Roquefort Dressing.  Cream, buttermilk or mayonnaise were not part of the original recipe.  As one can imagine, a Roquefort Dressing that is made with only vinaigrette would be very light and zesty on the palate.
     When most people think of bleu cheese dressing, they picture a heavy thick mayonnaise based dressing.  By using a thin red wine vinaigrette, the dressing will have more flavor and a lighter texture.  The flavor is even better a fresh wine vinegar is used, like if a good vintage of red wine in the kitchen has aged beyond its own capacity and the wine turns into vinegar.
     Sometimes a bottle of red wine that I devote to cooking starts to turn to vinegar, because the bottle sat open for too much time.  Wine that has turned to vinegar can and should be used as vinegar.  The wine vinegar is even better if the wine originally had a nice character.  The wine vinegar for today's recipe came from a bottle of French 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon vin de pays table wine.  Because this is a fresh vinegar instead of a distilled vinegar, the deep burgundy color of the wine was retained.
     Deep red wine marries with good bleu cheese like nothing else.  Danish Bleu is very rich and creamy.  Basically, Danish Bleu is a double cream bleu and the flavor is fairly mellow.
     Nearly every cheese tastes nice with salad greens and purple broccoli.  Not every cheese tastes nice with apples and walnuts.  Danish Bleu has a mild enough character to compliment the flavor of tart fruity tasting Gala Apples and walnuts.  When mixed with a fresh cabernet wine vinaigrette, the complex flavor combination tastes even better!
 
     Danish Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette:
     This recipe make a little more dressing than what is needed for 1 salad portion.  Save the extra dressing for a plate of sliced tomatoes as a snack, if you wish!
     When using a bottle of cabernet wine that has turned to vinegar, the standard vinaigrette recipe rule of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar ratio can be ignored.  A higher proportion of vinegar in this recipe does not mean it has a sour flavor!  If you wish to make this recipe with a standard distilled red wine vinegar, then use the 3/1 proportion. 
     Step 1:  Place 2 tablespoons of fresh cabernet sauvignon vinegar in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of basil.
     Add 1 small pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Slowly stream 3 tablespoons of pomace olive oil into the vinegar mixture, while gently whisking, to produce a thin loose vinaigrette.
     Step 2:  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped Danish Bleu Cheese, while whisking.
     Set the Danish Blue Cheese Cabernet Sauvignon Vinaegrette aside and allow the flavors to meld for 10 minutes.
     Stir before serving.
 
     Petite Lettuce Greens, Gala Apple, Purple Cauliflower and Walnuts with Danish Bleu Cheese Cabernet Sauvignon Vinaigrette:
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of petite purple cauliflower florets in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped sweet vidalia onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped toasted walnuts.
     Add 5 or 6 thin Gala Apple wedge slices.
     Add 2 1/4 cups of mixed petite lettuce greens.  (A mixture that contains some arugula is nice.)
     Step 2:  Add just enough of the Danish Bleu Cheese Cabernet Sauvignon Vinaigrette to coat the ingredients with flavor.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Mound the salad on the center of a plate.
     Garnish the plate with 4 tomato slices.
     Place 4 small dabs of the vinaigrette on the plate between the tomato slices.
 
     This is am interesting tasting salad that can be served any season!

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