Why did I choose this salad?
1. Because it is simple, joyful, with plenty of colours AND incredibly tasty….
2. because it is original and all your friends will say: “Wowww !!”
3. because it takes three minutes to make it…
4. but in spite of N°3, the brie cheese and the unexpected combination give it this touch of French sophistication that will make you merit another “Wowww”
5. or just because, like Frank Sinatra sang (and Chef Chuck once told me in one comment) …it’s like “spring that sprung”….
Do we need more? Allez !! Let’s make it together…..
Obviously, our main ingredient is this brie cheese….This cheese, that now is one of my favourites, is called Brie de Meaux. It is produced in an area 50km from Paris. Tale has it that during a cheese tournament, this cheese was awarded the first prize…so it was called “le roi des fromages” (the king of cheeses).
In France, this cheese is made with unpasteurized cow milk, which gives it its richness and unparalleled flavor, with hazelnut and fruit aromas. It is soft, and has a creamy texture (see the cheese oozing?)..mind you, the texture in the photo is the right one: neither too stiff nor too runny! It shouldn’t be consumed right out of the fridge. It requires al least thirty minutes of room temperature. The cheese develops an off-white mold that should not be removed when eaten. When presented with a triangle-shaped piece of Brie, and a knife, to help yourself, don’t cut the smallest tip of the triangle for you !!! This would be considered bad manners in France (“a faux-pas”).
I know that cheese made with raw milk is forbidden in the USA, for example, which, to me, is a real pity, because when this cheese is made with pasteurized milk, it loses much of its flavour. It tastes “of nothing” to me….I am neither a physician, nor a biologist, but I don’t understand this regulation for health reasons…my common sense shows me that generations of French have been eating this cheese for ages, and nobody has died for that !!, on the contrary, French people seem to be much healthier ( in cholesterol levels, etc) than some other people from different countries, so….
I also know that some people find this type of cheese too strong…I remember when I first got to France I didn’t like it a bit….and the smell in my fridge??!!! pungent, like a corpse decaying for months….but then I got used to it, and now I have some sort of addicton for it. When I leave France on vacation, the first thing I do when coming back is to eat a generous portion of Brie, or Camembert, or Epoisses…I’ll tell you about these cheeses some other day!
Let’s go to the recipe for the salad…..
For this Brie Cheese / Strawberry Salad, you will need:
( 4 small servings )
* mixed green leaves of your choice (and/or raddish sprouts), 200 gr * strawberries, 12 * Brie cheese, 200 gr
For the vinaigrette
* olive oil, 4 tablespoons. * balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon * Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon * salt & freshly-ground pepper
Rinse the green leaves and strawberries. Dry the leaves with a salad spinner. Slice the strawberries thinly. Cut the Brie cheese in medium slices, 2 cm long (check photo). For the vinaigrette, whisk the oil, vinegar and mustard together till they combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the leaves, strawberries and cheese nicely on individual dessert dishes. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.Enjoy it!
Ahora en castellano !!!
Para esta Ensalada de Queso Brie y Frutillas (fresas), se necesitan:
(4 porciones pequenas)
* hojas verdes variadas y/o brotes de rabanitos, alfalfa, 200 gr * frutillas (fresas), 12 * queso Brie, 200 gr
Para la vinagreta,
* aceite de oliva, 4 cucharas soperas
* aceto balsamico, 1 cuchara sopera
* mostaza de Dijon, 1 cuchara de té
* sal y pimienta recién molida, a gusto.
Lave y seque los verdes y las frutillas (para los verdes, usar el centrifugo para ensaladas). Cortar las frutillas en laminas finas (sentido longitudinal). Cortar el queso en laminas medianamente finas, de 2 cm de largo (ver foto). Para la vinagreta, mezclar con un batidor chiquito todos los ingredientes, hasta emulsionar bien. Agregar sal y pimienta a gusto. Acomodar los verdes, queso y frutillas en los platos a servir. Rociar con la vinagreta.
Que la disfruten!