A meal without some cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye.
– Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
When I came back from my holidays, I went shopping for food the second day that I was home. Even though I was supposed to only be buying the ingredients to make last week’s recipe I was wandering around looking at all the food. Despite the fact that I know I have a bit of a cholesterol problem, my favourite part of Homeplus (a store similar to Tesco or No Frills) is the cheese section. Though it’s mostly really processed American or, as my family call it, plastic cheese, they fortunately have one shelf constantly stocked with Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, real Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and Smoked Cheese. The main reason I peruse it so often is because sometimes you come across a rare gem – a couple of months ago for about 6 weeks they had Edam Cheese and, last week, I found Gorgonzola. I was over the moon. I’d just been thinking that I’d really like some blue cheese as I hadn’t had enough of it when I was home in Ireland (one sandwich – lamb and blue cheese—divine!). Basically the lesson here is that lingering around the cheese aisle and sighing is an acceptable practice! So despite it’s price tag, into the basket it went.
However, once I got it home I realised that I was just eating blue cheese and not really “enjoying” it the best way that I could. I started to reminisce about all the lovely salads I’ve had over the years at different restaurants that featured blue cheese. Most of the ones that sprang to my drooling mind were recipes with apple, pecan, and blue cheese. Consequently, the following recipe includes all those ingredients.
As you can see by the recipe below, I decided to not just make a salad, instead I made a salad wrap. I always have tortillas in my house, and, as I’d hosted a Mexican pot-luck on Sunday, I had a deluge of tortillas on hand. What better way to use them up?
Gorgonzola Salad Wraps
- 4-6 soft tortilla shells*
- 1 cup spinach, washed
- 1 cup mixed nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds), chopped into pieces
- 6-8 Khalas dates, pitted and chopped
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ¼ green apple, sliced into sticks
- ⅓ cup gorgonzola, chopped (I used Gorgonzola Piccante)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 4 tbsp maple syrup, divided
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, dash
- Preheat the oven to around 175°C.
- Make the dressing: Combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, seasoning and 2 tbsp of maple syrup. Blend it and then put into a sealable jar and shake. This will make enough dressing for three batches of this recipe.
- Refrigerate the dressing until everything else is ready.
- Meanwhile, put the nuts in a bowl with the remaining maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Stir until everything is well coated.
- Put the nuts in a baking dish and spread them evenly before placing in the oven and roasting for around 10-12 minutes. Check frequently and stir so they don’t burn.
- Set aside to cool when done.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan on the stove to a high heat. Once hot, add the tortillas one at a time and heat for around 10 seconds per side.
- Put the spinach, cheese, dates and nuts into a bowl and mix together.
- Add a third of the dressing and coat all the ingredients in the bowl.
- Divide the avocado, apple and salad amongst each tortilla. Put the salad on the bottom with the avocado in between it and the apple.
- Wrap, burrito style, cut in half and serve.
*I ate two (20 cm) wraps for dinner one day and two for lunch the next day. For dinner I was more than satisfied with two wraps but after lunch I was still hungry a bit hungry so it was lucky I had brought a snack.
This is quite rich, so I recommend serving with a mild soup or simple salad.
Make it your own: You don’t need to use all three varieties of nut, you can pick and choose as you like. The first time I made it, I only used pecans. You can change the maple syrup to honey and the spinach to rocket/arugula.
For lunch the next day: If your avocado is squishy, leave it out as it can make the wrap soggy. I brought this to lunch on Thursday and one wrap (without avocado) was fine and the other (with avocado) was a bit soggy. It still tasted good though!
Make for a large crowd: You can easily double or triple the recipe as necessary. Alternatively, you could serve each wrap, cut in half or in thirds, on a platter as a starter dish.
Too many nuts: If you want, you can reserve a quarter cup of the nuts and use instead in this Vegan Apple Chia Pudding recipe.