Crispy Camembert with Morello Cherry Vinaigrette
This salad is straight out of a fantasy in my head because I adore hot Camembert so much and this recipe produces crunchy cheese slices that are golden on the outside and molten inside. The salad is really a vehicle for the little nuggets of crispy cheese that appear in the body of the leaves. The cherries are a seasonal cheat since they come from a jar, but the sourness is heaven with the Camembert.
- 1 x 250g whole Camembert (not too ripe is best)
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten lightly with a fork
- 125g white breadcrumbs (the cheaper and drier, the better)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 big handfuls spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 3 big handfuls mixed-leaf lettuce, washed and dried
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 30 walnut halves, roughly chopped and toasted in a dry frying pan
- For the dressing:
- 4 tbsp Morello cherry preserve
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp walnut oil
- a pinch salt
Cut the Camembert wheel into 12 pieces. Dip the cheese slices in first the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Repeat once more so that each slice has been dunked in egg and breadcrumbs twice.
Heat up the oil in a large frying pan until hot but not smoking. Fry the breaded Camembert slices for a few minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. If you want to make this ahead, keep the fried cheese slices in the freezer and reheat in a very hot oven (220˚C/425˚F/gas mark 7) for 8 minutes, just before serving.
Meanwhile, make the cherry vinaigrette by heating up all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stirring to combine. Set aside to cool.
Once the cheese is ready, toss the leaves, red onion and walnuts in three quarters of the cooled dressing.
Serve with the cheese pieces dotted in the salad and drizzled with the vinaigrette.
SWAP IN... Replace the walnuts with pecans and play around with the leaves. Replace the red onion with chives or finely chopped shallots. If you don’t want to use spinach, use any dark green salad leaves that are tender.