Watercress and Labne Salad with Blueberry Dressing

Serves 3-4 people.

Ingredients ...

for the salad

for the dressing

Preparation ...

Some 5-6 hours before you wish to eat your salad, line a sieve with a big square of muslin and spoon all the yoghurt into it. Gather up the ends and and tie in a knot then hang from the tap over the sink, or suspend over a bowl. Leave to drip for 4-6 hours until the cheese is firm enough to mould. Now scoop out teaspoonfuls and roll into balls. Cover loosely and set aside until needed.

To make the dressing, which can also be done several hours in advance, simply put the blueberries into a small pan with the sugar, ginger, half the lemon juice, one tablespoon of water, plenty of pepper and a few pinches of slat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then rub through a strainer. Whisk the remaining lemon juice into dressing, then taste and adjust seasoning.

Not long before serving, halve the avocado, remove the stone, then peel and slice, turning the slices in lemon juice to delay browning. Tumble watercress and avocado onto individual plates (or on one shallow serving dish), dot with labneh balls and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Drizzle dressing over the mixture (you probably won't need all of it) and serve at once.

Reproduced with kind permission of Sophie Grigson.

Surrey-Hants ~ Hampshire fare ~ Alton Food Festival 2006
(c) Keith Parkins 2006 -- July 2006 rev 0