The Salad Aveyronnaise is a classic dish of the Aveyron, in southwest France, combining three of its principal ingredients – bacon, walnuts and Roquefort. This is a warm salad: prepare everything in advance, then, just before eating, reheat the tomatoes and walnuts in the oven while you fry the bacon and heat the dressing.
500g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove
drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
5 tbsp walnuts
3 large handfuls baby spinach or other salad leaves
large handful basil leaves
200g pack bacon lardons
100g/4oz Roquefort, cut into chunks with a small, sharp knife
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
4 tbsp mild-tasting olive oil, such as Filippo Berio
PREPARE IN ADVANCE
Put tomatoes in a small roasting tin or dish and crush the garlic directly over them using a garlic crusher. Season, drizzle with oil and roast for about 15 mins at 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, until slightly shrivelled. At the same time and temperature, toast the walnuts until glossy and fragrant, about 10 mins, then chop them roughly. Set everything aside in the fridge until ready to reheat.
AT THE LAST MINUTE
Before serving, heat oven to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼. Put in the tomatoes, still in their dish, and the walnuts, in a dish or on a piece of foil on a baking tray, to keep warm. Toss the spinach and basil together in a large bowl and season lightly.
Heat a little oil in a pan and sizzle the lardons for 3-4 mins until just lightly browned. Transfer to a piece of foil and keep hot in the oven.
Stir the dressing ingredients together and pour into the hot pan. Bring to a boil (the vinegar will smell very strong, so stand back), then pour over the salad and toss again to wilt slightly. Add remaining ingredients to the salad, reserving a few choice crumbs of Roquefort and a scattering of walnuts. Toss and transfer to plates, then top with the remaining cheese and nuts.
297 kcalories, protein 10g, carbohydrate 4g, fat 27g, saturated fat 8g, ﬁ bre 2g, added sugar none, salt 2g