Day 21: Endive & Roquefort Salad
inspired by Brasserie Zédel
I really need to clear my calendar. Not because I’m busy. Quite the opposite. But my phone is still telling me about meetings and deadlines that no longer exist. I woke up this morning to a reminder that rehearsals started today. Obviously they didn’t.
But it gets me thinking about theatre, and (because I’ve not had breakfast yet and I’m hungry) this quickly turns into thinking about food.
Whether it’s a pre theatre dinner, a favourite cafe for a meeting or simply the food that gets me through opening a show. Theatre and food go hand in hand. Especially that interval ice cream. Essential.
No where is more appropriate for a day of musing about theatre and food than Brasserie Zédel.
In the heart of the West End this amazing restaurant serves French classics to a hoard of theatre goers. I dread to think how many pre theatre dinners they must serve a day (the restaurant is huge!)
A quick google reveals they can do 1500 covers in a day! That’s insane… I’m struggling to organise feeding two people a day and they do 1500!
I’ve never seem a more organised front of house team. They serve all these people, getting everyone out the door in plenty of time to make their show. And they make it look effortless!
I have to admit my own attempts at food organisation are not looking quite so effortless.
Supermarket shopping has become something of a military operation. We’re trying to just do one big shop a week so the list gets divided into categories, split between us and organised. It takes all my self control to not start colour coding…
One category on the list is items that I would like to find.
No not eggs or bread flour. They are on the essentials list. These items are a bit more specialist, and a bit less crucial.
Quail? No. Smoked mozzarella? No. Dashi stock? No chance. I’m silently cursing the fact we don’t live near a Waitrose.
My bank balance is very grateful that we don’t.
Then there are the “if” items. Get curry leaves, but only if you can get monkfish. Buttermilk? Only if they have flour. The “if” items are the reason I will have to queue to go back down that one way aisle. Again.
Aidan’s given up asking why these slightly unusual items have ended up on the list. He knows when I pause mid shop it’s because I’m looking for some impossible ingredient. He just goes on without me to get things that are actually essential. Like wine.
But his eyes lit up when I put Roquefort in the basket last week. It’s one of his favourite cheeses.
I’ve been planning to make this salad for a while. So as today started with thinking about theatre it seems a good time to make my favourite Brasserie Zedel starter.
Endive & Roquefort Salad
The downside of planning a dish based around one of Aidan’s favourite foods is that I have to keep a close eye on the fridge.
No you can’t eat that! Why? Because that’s for omelette. The lentil dish. The sauce for dinner on Friday. You get the idea. I’ve become somewhat territorial over the contents of the fridge.
So the cheese is hidden at the back of the fridge (under all the other cheeses… acting as a diversion) and I hope for the best. Aidan thankfully forgets all about the roquefort.
The salad itself is super simple. Endive, crumbled roquefort and walnuts. I have some parsley so a sprinkle a bit of that on top and I add some chopped apple (mainly because I only have one endive, which I realise is not quite enough for two people).
I make this Raymond Blanc dressing recipe. Wow it’s amazing! When I started creaming the blue cheese it didn’t look too appetising. Just a sort of greyish sludge. But add the water, olive oil and vinegar and suddenly you are in dressing heaven!
I make enough dressing for four. So we have two generously dressed salads. But there’s still some leftover. The sensible thing to do would be to save it for another day.
However I just ate the rest of it with a spoon. Like soup. Couldn’t resist.
Maybe it should be Aidan monitoring the fridge. I obviously have no self control!