Dandelion Salad with Beets, Blue Cheese, & Maple Candied Pecans|diversivore

When again, if you have actually made it this far it’s probably safe to presume that you like blue (or bleu) cheese– but perhaps you are among those bad souls who’s married to a blue-basher. A finicky-fromage-frowner. Well fret not, you’ve got alternatives for those who desire choose their musty cheeses to be gor-gone-zola.

Of all, let’s talk about what kind of blue cheese to use, as they’re not all developed equivalent. I personally like to use a reasonably moderate, crumbly cheese sparingly so as not to overwhelm the other flavours. Gorgonzola is a great option. My fellow Canadians might wish to look for Bleu Claire from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, Jersey Blue from Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, Bleu D’Élizabeth from Fromagerie du Presbytère, or Ciel De Charlevoix from Famille Migneron for a bit of local flavour that delights the taste buds without being overwhelming. If you do not mind going a little bolder, try Stilton (however I ‘d personally avoid the rind, which has a various and polarizing flavour). If you’re an unabashed blue-booster, you could go bold and use a cheese like Roquefort, however I personally believe you run the risk of subduing the remainder of the salad.

If you’re looking to switch out the blue cheese however still want to utilize a cheese, the secret is not to go too mild. A sharp crumbly cheddar would be my first choice (particularly alongside a bit of added apple to compliment the flavour), however an aged gouda would work too. You could likewise used shavings of really firm, umami-rich and difficult Asiago, Pecorino, or Parmesan-style cheeses. Soft goat cheeses are extremely popular with beets and an individual favourite of mine, but I do not think that they bring enough ‘oomph’ to really pop versus the other flavours in the recipe, particularly when utilized in such little quantities.

If you want to prevent dairy completely there are a few possibilities. Non-dairy cheeses built around soy, cashews, and other ingredients are presently going through a craft revolution, and there are some excellent ones out there in both blue and tough cheese (e.g. Parmesan) styles. If you’re looking for blue cheese flavour minus the dairy, there are some quite unbelievable small-scale artisanal plant-based ‘cheese’ makers out there turning out sensational blues. That being stated, there are also a lot of unremarkable and totally terrible non-dairy cheeses, so I ‘d recommend that you do your homework and attempt a few things before devoting to utilizing anything here. If you’re not wanting to pursue a plant-based cheese, nutritional yeast flakes are a fantastic option for reproducing the salty/umami punch of Parmesan. Nutritional yeast does represent something of a size/texture issue though, as it does not crumble into portions and might wind up at the bottom of your salad bowl. You can attempt dressing the salad first and adding the flakes so that they stick, or including the nutritional yeast directly to your dressing. For a more visual/textural option, attempt blending dietary yeast with simply enough olive oil to make it clump together in crumbly little balls. Distribute a few of these yeasty-bits around your salad, et voilà.

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