Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday: Parisian Roquefort Walnut Salad

Please go to The Fairy Blogmother for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

We're finally beginning to thaw here in Michigan. We've had truly glorious weather this week, and last week the temperatures began to creep up.

During early spring, my thoughts run towards Paris.

I had the great good fortune to be able to go to Paris several times in my 20s. Good fortune and perseverance - like an addict, I would make enough money until I could get my next "fix".

There are still aspects that feel like home there for me, and there are things I miss on a daily basis. Sadly, some of those things that I miss are missed by Parisians, as well, because Paris, like all other places in our superannuated world, is changing rapidly.

One thing that hasn't changed, however, is the relatively cheap salad that you can get at most bistros. It's a simple combination - romaine, blue cheese, walnuts tossed together in a basic vinaigrette. Add a bit of baguette and you have a delicious meal, if you're me.

I don't have the budget to go to Paris right now (who does?), and I don't have the calorie budget to add in the copious amounts of Roquefort and walnuts that I'd find in the actual version, so I decided to create my own. Something that would give me a taste of what I was missing. And add this to a chunk of my whole wheat version of Bittman's speedy bread (okay, it's half whole wheat, but it's working), and I have a lovely meal.

Bon Appetit!

Parisian Roquefort Walnut Salad


3 cups salad greens (preferably organic) washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (roquefort would be the traditional choice)
7 walnut halves, chopped
1/2 TBS olive oil
1/2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/2 TBS anchovy paste
1/2 TBS water
1/2 TBS favorite mustard (preferably not yellow - poupon or whole grain is better)
lots of fresh ground pepper
a pinch of thyme

1. Place salad greens in a salad bowl. Sprinkle the blue cheese and chopped walnut halves on top.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together all other ingredients until they are emulsified and a dressing is made
3. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Number of Servings: 2

Nutritional Info

Fat: 10.6g
Carbohydrates: 8.3g
Protein: 6.3g

Nutritional information, as always, provided by


Korie said...

Living in Belgium I've had the opportunity to try a lot of the cheeses here (they're almsot as crazy about cheese as the French) and I can't stand most of the mouldy ones. I can handle blue cheese but roqufort and gorgonzola actually burn my nose and make me gag. I find Camembert disgusting too. CB used to tease me cause I would only eat the "kiddy cheeses"(and brie, I love brie). Until he told me that kids often don't like the strong tastes of the cheese because their tastebuds are more accute. So now if he teases me I just tell him my tongue is younger and he shuts up.

Ben said...

It was warm and sunny here too during the weekend, but after today temperatures are going to fall again and we might see more snow. Sorry for the bad news, but at least that will give me more time to cook all the stews and chilis I have been bookmarking, hehe. Great salad, btw. Looks so spring-ish :-p

anno said...

That salad looks terrific! Bleu cheese is one of those ingredients that I think automatically improves just about any recipe. Hope you're enjoying your week!

glamah16 said...

That looks like the prefect lunch. I miss Paris. Sigh.

Jen said...

Lilac, you could probably make this with shaved parmesan, instead. Would that be better? I've always loved all kinds of cheeses. Guess my tongue is OLD, lol. ;-)

Ben, today we have rain, rain, rain and I'm ready for soups again. I wish spring would come in earnest!

Anno, I'm with you on blue cheese, and so is D, although C won't touch the stuff. Hope you're having a good week, too!

Glamah, me, too... definitely miss Paris!

Betsy said...

I've been craving walnuts all day now! This looks delicious! Thanks, I'll definitely try it out!

Jen said...

It's definitely a good combo, if you like the ingredients!

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

Wow, this looks amazing. Paris! Who wouldn't want to go. Someday...

Alex Elliot said...

This is just the recipe I'm looking for! I've been trying to eat salads for lunch most days of the week as a way to get in some fresh raw veggies, but I was stuck with the dressing for my salad with blue cheese crumbles and sliced walnuts.

Flower Child said...

funny - I literally made this for lunch yesterday. soooo tasty

Jen said...

Brittany - you really have to get there. Seriously. Anyone who works in design/fabrics/art - you will find a way. ;-)

Great, Alex - glad I could help. Now, this isn't a TON of dressing for the salad, but it should be sufficient - I tend to drizzle my dressings rather than soak things.

FC - From one Francophile to another. ;-)

Mae Travels said...

That sounds good -- the bistro on the corner from our apartment the year we lived in paris had quite a few salads. I also loved the one made from frisee lettuce and chicken gizzards with a lightly poached egg. Also salade nicoise when it was made with potatoes -- I do not like it with rice! I wonder if someone has turned this theme into a book.

Núria said...

What a great salad Jen! No cheese for me (I know it's not the same) but roquefort can make me fall from the chair or have me running for 15 minutes non stop ;D

I thought you were going you share your Paris secrets in this post... well, well, maybe some other time ;D

Peter M said...

This is the kind of salad that's a blue cheeses.

Jen said...

Mae - I agree - I think the French have perfected the art of salads as meals. So many wonderful ones.

No cheeses for you, Nuria? That's sad! Well, for me it would be. This would probably be good though with sardines and walnuts. Is that better?

Peter, I agree - definitely a good meal salad.

cathouse teri said...


Goofball said...

@Lilacspecs: I hated blue cheese until really in my twenties. The thought of eating visible mould choked my throat for a long time and then I persevered tasting it and now I adore the strong taste of it. So your tongue can still age and then this salad will be incredibly good

(sorry jen to adres the other commenters rather than you ;) ).

Unknown said...

AHH! French salads! AHHH! Jen, I'll post more of my adventures if we get to hear yours, too! Korie, I tend not to like the moldy cheeses that much, either, although I did cook eggs *softly scrambled* with Rocquefort while I was in Paris. And by softly scrambled, I mean it took about 20 minutes on a low flame.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

that salad looks manifique (oh not sure if I spelled that right).

Jen said...

Boo to you, too, Teri! ;-)

Goofball - no worries on that one at all. And I still think blue cheese can be an acquired taste, but I also think you're right.

Cindy... I'm sure I can post *some* of my adventures. I'll have to pull out my old journals (and yes, they're all in French, lol).

NYC - almost right, you French citizen, you. ;-) It's a good salad. It would be great with gorgonzola, too.

Anonymous said...

Yum. And I was at my thinnest in Paris, so bring on (bring back!) the salads (also Nicoise), the baguette and un peu de vin rouge.
Thanks for kicking this salad back onto our menu here at my house. Will be serving it tonight perhaps with Valentine dinner!

Jen said...

Enjoy, Oh!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen! The salad looks wonderful, but my eye keeps going over to that bread! LOL Happy Valentines Day!

peter said...

I've been murdering big bowls of greens on a daily basis- it's the impending spring I think- and adding bits of proteinous whatnots from the fridge makes for a perfect lunch. Man, do we love Roquefort over here, but it's usually for dessert with a little sweet wine.