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Cook smart with Jamie Oliver’s sweet pear and apple salad

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A few small changes to the way you cook can reduce wasted water and energy. That helps grow more food for everyone, while also cutting down on monthly bills.

Try covering your pan with a lid, reducing the heat as soon as the water starts to boil, and turning off your kitchen appliances when not in use. This salad delivers big flavor while keeping energy use low—in fact, you can likely put it together without even turning on your stove.

Chef’s note: This is an adaptation of an old-school French endive salad. Belgian endive is quite a bitter leaf, and to contrast the bitterness I’ve used the sweetness of the fruit, the twang of the vinegar and the creamy silkiness of the cheese. I think it’s important to make this with good-quality apples and blue cheese.

Sweet pear and apple salad with bitter endive and a creamy blue cheese dressing

Recipe contributed by Jamie Oliver


  • 4 heads of endive (a mixture of red and white if possible)
  • 2 good eating apples
  • 2 pears
  • a handful of fresh soft herbs (chervil, tarragon, parsley—use any one, or a mixture), torn or roughly chopped

For the blue cheese dressing:

  • 2 ounces strong blue cheese
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons water

Instructions: Separate the leaves from the endive, then wash and spin them dry. Core your apples and slice them into matchsticks. Core the pears, slice into eighths and if they’re a little underripe, grill them in a screaming hot griddle pan until lightly charred. If they’re perfectly ripe, just place in a large bowl with the chicory, apple and most of the herbs.

To make your dressing, place all your dressing ingredients into a blender and blend for just 15 seconds until smooth. Taste to make sure you’ve got a little extra acidity in there to cut through the bitterness of the leaves, and season if necessary.

Pour three-quarters of the dressing over the salad and toss—I usually dress the salad lightly using the tips of my fingers. Divide them between four plates, and finish with a little extra dressing, the remaining herbs and a little extra virgin olive oil. Lovely with some walnuts crumbled over.

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