You don’t have to ask me twice if I’d like a piece of good, aged cheddar. I’ll nibble on it any day, at any time, in any place. I was eating the crumbs of a hunk of Montgomery’s Cheddar (my husband brought it back for me as a gift for letting him go to London solo), with some apples and roasted, buttered hazelnuts when I first read about the Food52 apple salad challenge. Add a complementary vinaigrette and some soft, Bibb lettuce, and presto-chango, it’s a salad. - cheese1227 —cheese1227
Test Kitchen Notes
Simple to make and delicious, this apple, hazelnut and cheddar cheese salad is a lovely combination of textures and flavors. Sweet honey mustard dressing and tender Bibb lettuce create a nice base for the tart granny smith apples and sharp cheddar. The dried figs were a pleasant chewy surprise. A little extra sprinkle of sea salt heightened all the flavors. —jvcooks
- Makes a decent sized bowl
½ cup raw hazelnuts, skins removed
1 Tablespoon butter
good sea salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
teaspoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey (I used Savannah Bee Co.’s Cheese Honey)
3 Tablespoons hazelnut oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 granny smith apple, sliced as thin as possible
3 cups of Boston bibb lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
dried calymyrna figs, roughly chopped
2 ounces of a really good, aged cheddar (I used Montegomery’s Cheddar), one that crumbles well.
- Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Melt butter and combine it with the hazelnuts and a couple pinches of sea salt.
- Toast in the oven until they are nicely browned. This happens quickly. Cool completely. Put them in a plastic bag and give them a whack with a meat mallet so they are broken apart a bit.
- In the bottom of a large bowl, combine vinegar, dry mustard, and honey. Whisk in the oil. Add pepper to taste.
- Add the apples and lettuce to the vinaigrette and toss to coat completely.
- Sprinkle in the hazelnuts and figs and crumble the cheddar on top and serve.