I’ve just recently ventured into the undiscovered culinary land of blue cheese. Like many others, I turned up my nose at blue cheese at an early age – and have never looked back. So when I found myself bravely biting into a pear and blue cheese sandwich at Henri’s recently, it was nothing short of a revelation. (http://www.henrisofedinburgh.co.uk/)
Full of character but in quantities that prevented it from being too dominating, and balanced against the sweet juiciness of a fresh pear, the blue cheese-pear combination was – I have to admit – a delight.
So when I spotted these beautiful mushrooms at the Stockbridge Market yesterday (http://www.stockbridgemarket.com/), I thought up a cheeky trio that would add a delicate touch of mushroom to the tried-and-tested blue cheese and pear combo.
2 dl risotto rice
stock, vegetable or chicken
2 cloves of garlic
150 g mixed wild mushrooms
30 g parmesan cheese
30 g blue cheese
a knob of butter
salt and pepper
100 g mixed salad leaves, such as spinach, rocket, watercress
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Chop the onion and garlic finely. Grate the parmesan. Rinse the mushrooms carefully and chop the bigger ones (like champignon) into smaller pieces.
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, stirring gently. Season with generous amounts of salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
3. Wash the salad leaves and chop the pear into wedges. Mix the ingredients for the dressing and leave the salad to be assembled later. (You might have to drip the wedges of pear with lemon juice to make sure they keep their colour).
4. In the same pan that you used for the mushrooms, heat more olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and risotto rice over a high heat for a couple of minutes, until the rice goes translucent. Then add stock, just enough to cover the rice. Add more stock as the risotto runs dry. Alternatively stir and add stock until the risotto is cooked, this should take about 18-20 minutes. The rice should be soft but still have bite to it – al dente.
5. Take the pan off the heat and stir in butter, salt and pepper and the two types of cheese. Gently stir in the cooked mushrooms. Mix the ingredients for the salad together in a big bowl and plate up next to a portion of risotto.