Melted brie with vegetables

    1 hour 30 min

    In this unusual salad, a wonderfully creamy dressing, made simply from melted brie cheese delicately flavoured with tarragon, is spooned over spicy roasted potato wedges, baby plum tomatoes, green beans and red onion. It seems a very indulgent dish, but is a deliciously healthy main meal.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 100 g (3½ oz) thin green beans, halved
    • 900 g (2 lb) baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into big wedges
    • 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp salt flakes
    • few coarsely crushed black peppercorns
    • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 1 small iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
    • ½ cucumber, chopped
    • 225 g (8 oz) baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and pepper
    • Brie dressing
    • 250 g (8½ oz) brie, rind removed and diced
    • 4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon

    Prep:35min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF, gas mark 6). Heat a roasting tin in the oven. Drop the beans into a large saucepan of boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Using a draining spoon, scoop the beans out of the pan into a colander, and refresh under cold running water. Add the potatoes to the saucepan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, then drain.
    2. Put the potato wedges in a bowl. Add the oil, paprika, salt flakes and crushed peppercorns, and toss to coat the potatoes. Tip them into the hot roasting tin. Roast for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and roast for a further 30 minutes, turning once or twice, until crisp and browned.
    3. When the potatoes are ready, remove from the oven and keep hot. Put the beans, lettuce, onion, cucumber and tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and toss well.
    4. To make the dressing, put the brie and milk into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until melted and well blended. Stir in the tarragon and a little pepper, and cook for a few seconds.
    5. Spoon the bean and tomato salad into 4 bowls. Top with the roasted potatoes and spoon over the warm brie dressing. Serve at once.

    Some more ideas

    Other cheeses can be made into a warm dressing in the same way. Try Camembert, Pie d'Angloys and Le Brin, or blue brie, Bleu de Bresse and Danish blue. * Instead of making a dressing, simply top the hot roasted potatoes with the diced brie, which will melt with the heat from the potatoes. * For very low-fat roast potatoes, use a can of spray olive oil. It is only 1 kcal per spray. * For a fondue-style dressing, grate 170 g (6 oz) Gruyère cheese and put into a saucepan with 1 crushed garlic clove and 90 ml (3 fl oz) dry white wine. Mix 1 tsp cornflour with 2 tsp water and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the salad and roasted potatoes.

    Plus point

    Although brie is thought of as a high-fat, high-calorie cheese, it does not contain as much fat, weight for weight, as a hard, well-matured cheese such as Cheddar. This is because, with age, a cheese becomes drier and its overall bulk decreases, thus increasing the levels of fat by weight.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, folate, niacin, calcium * B2, potassium, zinc * iron

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