ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goats Cheese and Cherry Salad - the cure for gout?

It's probably a bit early for an update on how my new diet is going, but the good news is that I'm not finding the fast days too much of a struggle and, dare I say it, I quite like the feeling of getting really hungry and eagerly looking forward to the binge days.

Alright, the non-fasting days.

I never knew this combination worked either
Mrs B-V is now on board as well, and between us we're going to lose over 1000 lbs by the end of the month. Maybe.

Anyway, while the 5:2 diet might - if wild, unproven theories are to be believed - reverse my diabetes, I've not yet read any whimsical speculation that it can do the same for gout.

There is, however, plenty of  'evidence' that cherries are a miracle cure for 'the disease of kings', and that's a good enough excuse for me to come up with a simple cherry-centric recipe.

Dairy products are generally considered to be good for gout too, so the recipe more or less writes itself.

I actually discovered the combination of cherry and goats cheese entirely by accident while eating a random plate of cold buffet food at a concert a few months ago, and had been meaning to develop a recipe ever since.

This rather Autumnal sort of salad makes a very quick and easy starter or a light supper and you might be surprised at how well the combo works. The use of Kriek extends the cherryness into the dressing and adds some tang. And cures your gout even more...

Goats Cheese and Cherry Salad

Ingredients - per serving

Dolce Verde (or Iceberg) lettuce, one big leaf  
Goats cheese, a few small slices
Fresh cherries, about 5-6, halved and pitted

For the dressing

Kriek (cherry beer)
Balsamic vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - about equal measures of all three

To serve

Fresh bread (something dense like Walnut or Soda bread) and butter


Mix your ingredients for the dressing and give it a bit of a shake or a vigouous stir.

Place a nice fresh, crunchy lettuce leaf on the plate, and arrange the slices of cheese and cherry halves atop it, as you deem fit.

Drizzle some of the dressing over everything, whack a hunk of fresh, buttered bread on the side of the plate, and you're good to go!

Did you even really need a 'Method'?

Oh well, enjoy!

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