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Recipe Of The Month: Gruyère

Asparagus, pea and bean salad with Gruyère shards (Serves 4 as a light lunch or starter)

For the dressing:
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 shallot, finely chopped

For the salad:
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp Chardonnay vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
50g Gruyère, grated
200g fine asparagus
200g green beans
100g peas, podded
8 radishes, finely sliced
100g pea shoots
1 tbsp capers
4 tbsp crème fraîche

1- Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing, season well and set aside.

2- Put the red onion in a bowl with a pinch of salt and the vinegar.

3- Line a baking sheet with a piece of tin foil and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Gruyère onto the foil. Grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling, then set aside to cool.

4- Steam the asparagus, fine beans and peas until just tender. Refresh in iced water, then drain well.

5- Put the asparagus, beans and peas into a large bowl. Scatter over the radish, pea shoots and capers, then pour over the dressing and toss well.

6- Divide the salad among four plates, then dot each one with three teaspoons of crème fraîche.

7- Use a palette knife to remove the crisp Gruyère pieces from the foil, then break them up into small shards. Push one into each teaspoon of crème fraîche, and serve.

Gruyère and ricotta chicory boats (Serves 4 as a starter)

4 tbsp ricotta
1 tsp freshly grated horseradish
25g Gruyère, grated
1 head of red chicory, leaves separated
6 slices Parma ham
3 tbsp amaranth microleaves

1- Mix the ricotta, horseradish and Gruyère together in a small bowl, and season well.

2- Using a teaspoon, scoop up a small bit of the mixture and place it into the bottom of each chicory leaf.

3- Continue to do this until all the chicory leaves are filled. Top with a little Parma ham and some microleaves. Serve immediately.

Red pepper soup with Gruyère croutons (Serves 4 as a light lunch or starter)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 red peppers, chopped
4 00g can chopped plum tomatoes
1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
600ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
A sprig of thyme
3 0g Gruyère, grated

For the croutons:

2 thick slices of sourdough bread
1 tbsp olive oil
60g Gruyère, grated
A sprig of thyme

1- Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion for around 15 minutes over a low heat, until very soft. Stir in the garlic, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2- Stir in the peppers and continue to cook for 5 minutes until they start to caramelise.

3- Stir in the tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste and stock, then cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

4- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. Cut the slices of bread into chunks, then put on a lipped baking sheet. Drizzle the oil, cheese and thyme over the bread. Season well and toss everything together, then bake for 10–15 minutes until golden.

5- Whizz the soup until smooth, then spoon among four bowls and top with the croutons. Garnish with Gruyère and thyme before serving.

Roasted tomato and Gruyère tart (Serves 4 as a starter, or as a main course with salad)

110g pitted black and green olives, marinated in oil
40g Gruyère, grated
1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
Half of a 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
250g red, yellow and orange baby tomatoes, halved
50g rocket leaves

1- Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas 7. Line a rectangular baking sheet with baking parchment.

2- Whizz the olives with 1 tsp of their oil in a food processor until finely chopped. Add half the Gruyère and whizz again to blend. Stir in the rosemary and season well.

3- Unroll the puff pastry sheet. Score a 2cm border around the edge, then use a fork to prick the middle all over. Transfer to the baking sheet, cover with another sheet of baking parchment and put another baking sheet on top. This ensures the pastry will be thoroughly cooked through and crisp. Bake for 15 minutes.

4- Take the pastry out of the oven and remove the top baking sheet and parchment. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6.

5- Sprinkle the border with half the remaining Gruyère. Spread the olive paste in the middle then arrange the tomatoes over the top. Top with the remaining Gruyère and bake for 10 minutes.

6- Scatter the rocket leaves over the tart and serve.

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Recipes written by Emma Marsden.

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