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Serves 4

Bread - use about one thick slice per person, or else do as I did and use half a part bake baguette per person
3 good glugs olive oil
good pinch salt
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbs olive oil
200g soft blue cheese (goats cheese would work well here too) cut (or broken up) into 1cm cubes
2 pears, sliced thinly
20 grapes, halved lengthways
handful of walnuts
Salad leaves - use a mix whatever leaves you'd like, including green lettuce, little gem, spinach, watercress, rocket, the list is endless. Suggestion of about 70g leaves per person

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Substantial pear and blue cheese salad

This is a gutsy salad, masquerading as the martyr's choice, but full of wonderful flavours and an amazing amount of calories and such contrasting textures of soft cheese, firm pear and crunchy croutons.

Goes down well as a lunch with friends, a quick to prepare, slow to enjoy meal. Smaller portions would do well for a starter.


Pre-heat the oven to 180DecC. Slice the bread into cubes, and put in a mixing bowl adding the olive oil and salt and lighly mix with your hands or a spoon to get them evenly coated in oil and salt. Place the bread cubes on a non-stick oven tray, and put in the oven for about 10 minutes, after which they should be crispy and golden, if not - return to the oven and check every few minutes.

In the same bowl as the breadcrumbs were mixed with the oil, add the salad leaves having washed them in a colander, sieve (or salad spinner if you have one) briefly to remove any soil and other nasties. In a mug, or bowl, add the lemon juice, mustard and 2 tbs olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and some pepper. Whisk lightly with a whisk or fork until combined and emulsified. Pour 2/3 of this over your salad leaves and again, get in there with your hands to ensure the dressing is evenly distributed and different leaves all mixed up. Divide the dressed leaves between 4 bowls or plates.

Add the sliced pear, halved grapes and chunks of cheese and walnuts to the same mixing bowl, add the remaining dressing, and mix with a spoon gently, trying not to break the cheese up.

Layer the pear and cheese up on top of the salad leaves with the croutons, serve immediately

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