Everything in this happy assembly complements each other. The apple and walnuts are a pair made in heaven. Equally happy would be the blue cheese and truffle oil if you use that (it needs to be the type of truffle oil which has actually seen a truffle) – they both get on well because they have fungus in common – it’s a fungus that makes the blue veining in the Gorgonzola. And, of course, the sweet apple and salty cheese love each other to distraction.
If you wanted to make this into a vegetarian dish it would be very simple – just omit the bacon, and don’t bother with all the frying.
Alternatively, you could forget the roll and have it just as a salad.
Best to make this for four, otherwise you get half apples and sad bags of leftover rocket clogging up your fridge.
This would get washed down rather well with some hearty vintage cider.
Recipe for The Pink Lady dances with the saucy Italian – apple and Gorgonzola on a roll
- 4 good quality rolls
- Olive oil for frying and drizzling
- 125-140g/4-5 oz bacon (about four rashers) or pancetta
- 1 Pink Lady apple
- 4 tbsps thick balsamic vinegar (or apple balsamic vinegar would also go very well with this)
- 40-50g/about 2 oz rocket or watercress
- 150g/5 oz creamy Gorgonzola dolce
- Some shavings of a good, mature hard cheese (I use an aged pecorino)
- 4 tbsps chopped walnuts
- Textured salt (Maldon ideally) and freshly ground pepper
- Good quality truffle oil – optional
- If your rolls are heavenly and super-fresh just use them as they are, otherwise, preheat the oven to 210ºC.
- Cut the rolls in half horizontally. If you are cooking for hungry people use both halves – otherwise use the top halves of the rolls for making breadcrumbs or croutons.
- Drizzle the cut halve with olive oil, put onto an oiled roasting tray. Put in the oven for about five minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the bacon or pancetta, and fry in a little olive oil.
- Chop the walnuts if they aren’t already chopped – add to the frying pan.
- Cut the apple into four, core it, and cut into small pieces. Add to the frying pan.
- Grind over generously, some pepper.
- Place the bottom of the roll onto the plate you intend to serve it on.
- Drizzle over a bit more olive oil.
- Shred the rocket or watercress, divide into four, pile onto the roll…don’t worry if some falls off.
- Spread the gorgonzola onto the rolls.
- Divide the contents of the frying pan into four. Press as much as you can of each division onto each rolls and scatter the remainder around.
- Divide the hard cheese shavings between the rolls.
- Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar.
- Drizzle over some truffle oil…or some interesting olive finishing oil.
- Sprinkle over your textured salt.
- Serve with a flourish!