Apple, Celery, Stichelton, Walnut & Bitter Leaf Salad by Laura Jackson

Laura has cooked at Towpath Cafe since it opened ten years ago. She is a truly brilliant cook; her food is nutritious, unpretentious and quite simply what you want to eat all-day, everyday. 

"I could eat this salad endlessly, everyday, all day long. It’s the combinations of all the different ingredients that make it so nourishing and moreish. You have the richness of the Stichelton, the crunch and sweetness of the apple, the crunch and anise flavour of the fennel, the nuttiness of the walnut, the bitterness of the leaves and the acidity from the apple cider vinegar. A dream combination. What a great way to polish off the last precious crumbs of Stichelton!"

Serves 4


1 radicchio, stalk removed and leaves separated
1 green chicory, stalk removed and leaves separated
4 inner stalks celery, sliced on an angle about 3mm thick
½ fennel, sliced on an angle about 3mm thick
2 spring onions or 1 large Tropea onion, thinly sliced on an angle
100g wet walnuts or toasted walnuts
200g Stichelton, crumbled
Handful parsley, picked and roughly chopped
1 large apple or 2 small ones
Salt and pepper
40ml olive oil
80ml apple cider vinegar

  • Prep the leaves and wash and dry if necessary.
  • Place the bitter leaves, celery, fennel, spring onions, walnuts, Stichelton and parsley in a bowl. Toss well.
  • Core and thinly slice the apple. Do this just before serving as you don’t want the apple to go brown.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Dress - I normally just drizzle the vinegar and oil over separately and taste but you could also just mix it together in a jug and pour over.
  • Toss well again, check seasoning and scatter over the remaining walnuts.

This is an extremely versatile salad so please replace bitter leaves with any leaves and the apple with pears. As long as you have the balance of crunchy, sweet, bitter and acidic right you can use whatever substitutes you may have at home.