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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blue Cheese, Parma Ham and Pear Salad

Salads are quick, easy and in most instances quite virtuous. This salad is seriously impressive and makes a great little starter or a light main course served with a single slice of  toasted wholemeal sour dough. Moreover, this salad a brilliant fusion of some amazing Irish blue cheese, Irish pears along with Italian Parma Ham and Balsamic.

This salad  has a great balance of sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy. I don't advocate any one source or supermarket but for this recipe Aldi has to be the place which offer premium products at the best price.

To explain how this salad fits in to the SkinnyLovesFood ethos - the big splurge here is the Blue Cheese. Although normally a very strong flavour this awarding winning Aldi specially selected mature blue cheese has a subtle flavour with just the right amount of impact. It is high in saturated fat but a little goes a long way.  Removing the visible fat from the parma ham makes it become quite a lean source of iron along with the spinach. Also,the pisatchios provide some fibre. Fresh pears would be great but I find tinned pears - although a lower nutritional value - are fine. Just ensure they are in a natural juice not syrup.
This salad has amazing taste and flavour for a low fat, healthy, filling meal.

Serves 2
100g mixed leaves (rocket, spinach, watercress, chard)
4 slices parma ham
25 pistachio nuts (shelled)
50g blue cheese
half red onion
1 tin pears
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic glaze (Lidl)

  1. Preheat oven to the highest setting  - 220oC. Open the tin of pears, drain. Place on an oven proof dish and drizzle with the maple syrup. Pop in the oven for 10 - 15mins.
  2. Rinse the lettuce leaves. Peel and finely slice the onion. De-shell the pistachio nuts. Remove the visible fat from the parma ham.
  3. In a salad bowl combine the leaves, parma ham, red onion. Crumble in the blue cheese.
  4. Remove the pears from the oven and thinly slice. Add these and the pistachios to the salad.
  5. Toss all the ingredients together with the balsamic glaze.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

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