Hearts of Romaine Salad With Apples, Cheese and Hazelnuts

Recipe by COOKGIRl
READY IN: 15mins


  • Salad
  • 5 -6
    cups of hearts romaine leaves (the light green, crisp inner portion of a head of Romaine lettuce)
  • 2 -3
    flavorful apples, peeled and cored, then sliced as described below (such as Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp)
  • scant 1 cup of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1
    cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette With Sweet Honey Mustard
  • 2
    teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1
    teaspoon sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon sweet honey mustard (I use Inglehoffer brand made here in Oregon)
  • 14
    teaspoon salt (reduced from 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 12
  • 23
    cup grapeseed oil (in place of canola)


  • Vinaigrette: In a container, whisk together the vinegars, sugar, sweet mustard, salt and vanilla. Whisk in the oil. Makes a generous 1 cup of vinaigrette.
  • Salad: Arrange the romaine on individual salad plates.
  • 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. You can prepare the apple mixture up to an hour ahead. Important: 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.
  • 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. Serve.
  • Alternatively: Instead of hearts of Romaine lettuce, consider a mixture of baby spinach, hearts of Romaine and/or other mixed young greens. You could also substitute feta or white cheddar, aged gouda, etc. for the blue cheese.
  • Another serving option would be to assemble the entire salad on a large platter instead of individual salad plates.