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Winter Greens Salad with Pink Lady Apples, Toasted Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese

Winter salads are always a bit of a challenge, since the tender leafed greens don’t thrive this time of year. So we turn to the chicories—endive, frisée, and escarole. These are assertive greens, but pair well with fruits and nuts and cheeses. Try this simple salad with whatever winter greens you can find at the farmers market and enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 Tbs. hazelnuts (aka filberts)
  • 4 cups of winter salad greens (endive, friese, tender escarole leaves)
  • 1 small, slightly tart apple, preferably a Pink Lady
  • about 2 oz. piece of blue cheese; try Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola or an American farmstead blue
  • Hazelnut vinaigrette
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Toast nuts in a 350° oven on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, until fragrant and gently browned. Let cool, then rub in a towel to loosen the skins. Set nuts aside (some skins will remain).

Wash greens, spin dry and tear leaves. Peel, quarter and slice apple into very thin slices. Cut or crumble cheese. Toss lettuce with dressing, plate and garnish with apple slices, cheese and hazelnuts. Grind black pepper on top.

Hazelnut Vinaigrette

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbs. Sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut oil, if available (or substitute extra-virgin olive oil)
  • tiny dash Tabasco

Combine shallot, vinegar, lemon, honey and salt in a bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Add oil and mix with fork or whisk until incorporated. Add Tabasco, mix again. Toss with salad and serve.