Goats curd, walnut and orange salad

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)


  1. About two days ahead, line a bowl with the muslin and tip in the yoghurt along with a pinch of salt.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Store the dressing in a cool place.
  5. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then set aside.
  6. 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.
  7. Slice the oranges into rounds and cover and chill the oranges until ready to serve.
  8. When ready, arrange the curd, salad leaves, oranges and walnuts on a plate.
  9. Spoon over the dressing and serve.

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