Apple, Hazelnut and Cheddar Salad

January  8, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes a decent sized bowl
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • ½ cup raw hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • good sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 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
  • 2 dried calymyrna figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces of a really good, aged cheddar (I used Montegomery’s Cheddar), one that crumbles well.
  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Melt butter and combine it with the hazelnuts and a couple pinches of sea salt.
  3. 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.
  4. In the bottom of a large bowl, combine vinegar, dry mustard, and honey. Whisk in the oil. Add pepper to taste.
  5. Add the apples and lettuce to the vinaigrette and toss to coat completely.
  6. Sprinkle in the hazelnuts and figs and crumble the cheddar on top and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • wanderash
  • Midge
  • cheese1227
  • VanessaS
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

11 Reviews

wanderash January 21, 2011
Ohhhh this caught my eye when you first posted it. congrats on the EP!
cheese1227 January 21, 2011
Thanks, wanderash! Good luck in the final round!
Midge January 10, 2011
This sounds so delicious.
cheese1227 January 10, 2011
Thanks, Midge! I hope you get a chance to try it. Seems that hazelnuts are in short supply for some reason, at least where I am looking to get them.
Stockout January 8, 2011
You might think that, but besides feeling wet, those lil buggers are still as hard as ever. I usually just roast them about 8 minutes and they are crunchy and good to go. I was like you the first time but I tried it with a small handful and it worked. Just don't worry that the water is black and murky, that is just the skins. What doesn't pop off when you rinse them will fall off when you pick them up. But be careful, I have been known to squirt them across the counter, the skins get so loose.....;-)
cheese1227 January 8, 2011
Funny image!
Stockout January 8, 2011
WOW... cheddar and buttered hazelnuts.You had me there.
cheese1227 January 8, 2011
Thanks VanessaS. Other than getting those fiddly little skins off the hazelnuts, it's a really easy recipe.
Stockout January 8, 2011
You probably already know this but if you boil your hazelnuts in water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it, for 10 minutes, they slip off like silk.
cheese1227 January 8, 2011
Did not know that, stockout! Thank you for the tip?? Does the boiling make any changes to them? Maybe require roasting them a bit longer?
VanessaS January 8, 2011
This looks delicious!