Winter Salad

 Winter Salad of Fuji Apples, Baby Greens and Roasted Hazelnuts With Sweet Honey Mustard and Hazelnut Oil Vinaigrette

Everything clicks in this mixture, as long as you select apples with exceptional flavor and crispness. And among the things it goes wonderfully with is another Oregon specialty, Dungeness crab.
Enjoy! Jan Roberts-Dominguez

Makes servings for 4 to 6

  • 5 to 6 cups of mixed greens, including hearts of romaine leaves (the light green, crisp inner              portion of a head of Romaine lettuce), and baby arugula
  • 2 to 3 flavorful apples (such as Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp), peeled, and cored, then sliced as       described below
  • Scant 1 cup of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted and skinned hazelnuts
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette with Sweet Honey Mustard (recipe follows)
  1. To prepare the peeled and cored apples, cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices, then cut each slice into thirds. Place the apples in a small bowl and toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat the pieces.
  2. You can prepare the apple mixture up to an hour ahead. If you coat the apples with the dressing any longer than that they will absorb too much of the vinaigrette, which overwhelms the apple flavor
  3. To serve: Arrange the mixed greens on individual salad plates. Divide the apple mixture among the salads. Top each serving with a portion of the cheese and then a portion of the hazelnuts. Drizzle an extra bit of the vinaigrette over the greens and around the edges of the salad.

Alternatively: You could substitute Feta or Cheddar cheese for the blue cheese. Another serving option would be to assemble the entire salad on a large platter instead of individual salad plates.

Balsamic Vinaigrette with Sweet Honey Mustard

I designed this vinaigrette to go with my Salad of Fuji Apples, Baby Greens and Roasted Hazelnuts. It’s also a wonderful dressing to have on hand for any number of your winter salads incorporating fresh greens, fruits, and nuts. The hint of vanilla gives it a lovely toasty quality that compliments the nuts and some cheeses, such as Cheddar, Feta, Blue cheese, and provolone. Even shavings of a good-quality Swiss or extra-aged Gouda would work.
 
Makes about 1-1/4 cup

  • 1/2 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sweet Honey Mustard (I use the Inglehoffer brand made by Beaverton Foods)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut oil (if available)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

In a container, whisk together the vinegars, sugar, mustard, salt, and vanilla, then whisk in the oil.

Note: If you have trouble finding the hazelnut oil, or you don’t want to invest in the expense, simply use all canola oil.

Copyright, 2010, Jan Roberts-Dominguez, “Oregon Hazelnut Country - the Food, the Drink, the Spirit.”
 

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