Hearts of Romaine Salad With Apples, Cheese and Hazelnuts
- Ready In:
- 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
- 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar or 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sweet honey mustard (I use Inglehoffer brand made here in Oregon)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (reduced from 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2⁄3 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.
Join The Conversation
This was a really lovely salad that is simple, yet elegant. I used Gala apples, which were very flavorful, and white wine vinegar. I chose to serve this in one large bowl, which was then tossed and served. The blue cheese really pops here. I will definitely be making this again! Made for Culinary Quest 2014.