Blue cheese, leafy greens, hazelnuts: nailing the summer salad (Photo: Emma Boyd)

Recipe: Hazelnut, blue cheese and silverbeet salad

Ditch the limp mesclun and supermarket dressing: this is a salad that doesn’t muck around. 

This salad is a riff on an Ottolenghi recipe and is a wonderful combination of sweet and sour, crunchy and creamy. And what’s more, it gives silverbeet a whole new lease on life as it’s finely shredded and used as the base of the salad (rather than being cooked to within an inch of its life!). A word of caution, however, silverbeet contains oxalic acid so choose young leaves for salads and eat raw only in moderation.  

HAZELNUT, BLUE CHEESE & SILVERBEET SALAD

  • ½ red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 12 dates, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus extra to drizzle
  • 75g (⅔ cup) hazelnuts
  • 10 smaller silverbeet leaves, finely shredded
  • 85g blue cheese, crumbled
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Put the red onion and dates in a small bowl, pour over the red wine vinegar, stir and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium-high heat, toast the hazelnuts until golden brown. To remove the skins, you can either turn the hazelnuts out into a tea towel, fold over and use to rub the nuts so the skins come loose. Otherwise, I sometimes leave the nuts in the frying pan, take it outside and give it a shake – if it’s a windy day, the skins will blow away (or you can blow on them!).  

Once cool, roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

Put the shredded silverbeet in a salad bowl, scatter the onion/date mixture over the top, followed by the blue cheese and then finally the hazelnuts. Drizzle with some extra red wine vinegar and a good slosh of olive oil.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper then serve.


The Spinoff’s food content is brought to you by Freedom Farms. They believe talking about food is nearly as much fun as eating it, and they’re excited to facilitate some good conversations around food provenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.


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