This Christmas Day, I wanted a starter that was light and easy to prepare. I found this one in “Do-Ahead Christmas by James Ramsden“. Unfortunately, however, it seems that you can’t get chicory in the centre of Manchester for love or money. I tried both.
Instead, I bought a bag of salad from M&S with a mix of lettuce leaves. While I can see that this would work better with chicory, it was delicious none-the-less. In fact, the Thirsty Manc declared it the best Christmas Day starter ever. Although he does say that every year.
This serves 6-8 (I reduced for two).
- 500g goats yoghurt (you’ll also need some muslin)
- Salt & pepper
- 2 x heads of chicory (or mixed leaves)
- A few salad leaves (you won’t need these if not using the chicory)
- 2-3 oranges
- 100g walnut pieces
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 garlic clove (lightly crushed)
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- A small bunch of parsley (finely chopped)
- About two days ahead, line a bowl with the muslin and tip in the yoghurt along with a pinch of salt.
- Tie up the corners with some string making a small bag and hang over the bowl. The whey will drain out leaving you with the curd (I found that, after a day, it was pretty much done and moved it to the fridge with the muslin still not touching the bottom of the bowl).
- At least an hour before serving, make the dressing by putting the vinegar, Dijon, sugar, garlic, olive oil, parsley and a little salt and pepper into a jar and shaking furiously until it has emulsified.
- Store the dressing in a cool place.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then set aside.
- Slice off the orange peel from the oranges, removing all of the pith with the peel. Try not to remove too much of the flesh.
- Slice the oranges into rounds and cover and chill the oranges until ready to serve.
- When ready, arrange the curd, salad leaves, oranges and walnuts on a plate.
- Spoon over the dressing and serve.