Crispy sourdough croutons, creamy blue cheese, punchy fennel and a zesty lemon dressing; the perfect combination of ingredients go into this star salad recipe.
- Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4
- 3 sourdough bread slices
- Olive oil for frying
- 2 small (or 1 large) fennel bulbs
- 8 red radishes
- 4 celery sticks, still with the leaves on if possible
- 4 handfuls wild rocket
- 100g blue cheese, broken into chunks (we used sperrin blue, which is vegetarian; check the label if you need to)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- For the dressing
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus an extra splash to serve
- To make the dressing, mix the lemon juice and sherry vinegar in a large bowl along with the crushed garlic, then gradually whisk in the 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Season with plenty of sea salt – a good 2-3 pinches – plus some freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Tear the bread into rough 1.5cm chunks. Heat a few splashes of olive oil in a frying pan and toss the bread chunks in it over the heat for a few minutes until just golden brown and crunchy. Season with salt, then set aside on kitchen paper to cool.
- Slice the fennel as thinly as possible – on a mandoline if you have one – and keep any herby fronds to garnish. Do the same with the radishes. Pull the leaves from the celery (don’t discard) and thinly slice the sticks.
- Add the fennel, radish, celery and rocket to the bowl with the dressing. Add the croutons and half the cheese chunks and toss lightly together. Divide the salad among plates or wide bowls and scatter the remaining cheese over the top. Add a splash more extra-virgin olive oil if you like, then sprinkle with the chopped tarragon to serve.