The past month has been all about family and friends. We had my auntie and Nan at home for a few days, then my father-in-law extraordinaire, Hubby’s sister and her family paid us a visit. We also spent a couple of days in Devon catching up with family and friends, and against all odds, we also had quite a bit of sunshine (seriously!).
One place I had never been to and I would definitely recommend if you even find yourself in South Devon is Stover Country Park. The Nature Reserve is full of information about wildlife for the children and the walk by the ponds is ideal for spotting birds, squirrels, butterflies, frogs and ducks.
We also embarked on a mission to Bigbury on Sea, where we spent an afternoon on a stunning beach dotted with rock pools. The children ran around, climbed,
and went in the sea.
Our afternoon at the beach was followed by a barbecue at Hubby’s sister’s with all the family and friends we see every time we come down. Everyone (other than us…) contributed to the ultimate barbecue: sausages, venison burgers, salads, corn on the cob, baguette bread, unusual crisps (Guinness-flavoured crisps, anyone?) and a variety of yummy desserts.
My favourite dish was a salad our friend Vicky had put together, using quite a few ingredients she had grown in her own garden, as well as Stilton and walnuts, which I am always drawn to in salads.
Vicky’s dish was colourful, visually pleasing with its interesting combination of leaves, nuts, herbs, cheese and the purple chive flowers it featured. Most importantly, it was flavoursome!
I am not normally impressed by flowers on a dish, even less so when they are on a cake (what is that all about?), but in this instance, the flowers really had an impact on the flavours and texture of the dish. They gave it another dimension; a bit of an edge.
I immediately wanted to take a photo of Vicky’s salad, but I refrained from it for fear of being rude. As I was helping myself, I hinted it was the sort of recipe I would have on my blog. Vicky replied she would find it an honour to appear on my little cyber space. Yay!
I did not give her time to change her mind. I scraped the remnants of the salad, placed them on a plate and snapped away, making sure I was writing down Vicky’s recipe in the process! This little salad is something else: I will be making it again and again, no doubt about that!
Vicky's Stilton, Walnut and Chive Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 12 walnuts
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Rainbow chard leaves
- Beetroot leaves
- Chive flowers
Warm the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Sautée the crushed garlic with the finely chopped onion. Add the walnut halves and stir until toasted. Set aside to cool.
Make the vinaigrette. In a bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
When you are ready to serve, roughly chop the washed chard and beetroot leaves. Coat them in the vinaigrette as you are about to serve.
Sprinkle crumbled Stilton, sautéed onion, garlic and walnuts over the dressed leaves.
Garnish with chopped chives and chive flowers.