When looking for a different type of salad for lunch or a light supper it's always hard to come up with different combinations that work.
Sometimes you want to throw in some fruit but forget to add some fat or protein to round it out or you add nuts but always the same ones so the salad tastes...meh...just like the others.
This salad is a spin on the classic Roquefort and Walnut that uses Endive or Chicory (depending on where you live) as the leaves.
The chicory leaves are bitter and acidic and work really well with the saltiness and creaminess of the Roquefort which is perhaps why it's a classic dish.
For this Pear, Roquefort and Chestnut Salad I've used produce local to where I live here in SW France.
Roquefort is produced near to me and the rest are found on the trees in my back yard so it's hard not to want to use them in everything!
Roquefort is an incredibly easy ingredient to pair with other foods.
It's salty so goes well with sweet things, it's creamy so will go well with acidic things and it's pungent so will pair with fragrant things.
One thing that Roquefort does need though, is something to bring a bit of earthiness and mute some of that "over the top" flavour.
Nuts do the trick, notably walnuts. Their bitterness combined with the creamy, salty, pungent cheese make a combination that's hard to beat.
Unless you use chestnuts that is!
Chestnuts have a unique texture that is smooth and full with the flavour being creamy and nutty - a total complement to Roquefort.
You can get fresh chestnuts during the autumn if you have the patience to roast and shell them or you can buy them in jars pre cooked and shelled.
If you haven't had the pleasure of using chestnuts other than for turkey stuffing you should try them. They are particularly nice sauteed with green beans and pancetta!
I used pear in this recipe as it's a great substitute for the regularly used apple yet sweeter and incredible with strong blue cheeses.
I used cold slices but you can quickly grill or flash fry them and use them warm for a new dimension.
For dressings, I am using a simple vinaigrette but I have a recipe to a Warm Roquefort Dressing which works just as well if you're looking for something different.
So, try it and enjoy it. This different salad could open the door to lots of other interesting combinations.