Greens’n Apple with Browned-Butter Walnuts and Cider Vinaigrette

Temps des Fêtes 2004
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food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Cider vinegar supplies outstanding flavour and balance of acidity to this lightly dressed salad. Many chefs favour the widely-available organic Filsinger's cider vinegar from Ayton, Ontario, for its outstanding quality.

Walnuts
1 cup (250 mL) walnuts
2 tsp (10 mL) butter
Pinch fine salt

Salad
16 cups (4 L) baby lettuce mix including frisée, mâche and arugula
2 tbsp (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) cider vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup or honey
¼ tsp (1 mL) Dijon mustard
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 large Northern Spy, Crispin or Granny Smith apple

1. Coarsely chop walnuts. Heat butter in a heavy small frying pan over medium heat. When bubbly, add walnuts. Stir frequently for 3 minutes or until bits of browned butter cling to fragrant nuts. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Cool nuts on a paper towel. (Store in a sealed container; refrigerate if making ahead by more than a day.)

2. Place cleaned greens in a large salad bowl. Whisk oil with cider vinegar, syrup, mustard, salt and pepper. (If making ahead, cover and chill greens. Leave dressing at room temperature or, if refrigerated, bring back to room temperature before using.) When ready to serve, quarter, core and thinly slice apple crosswise; add to greens. Toss with dressing and scatter buttered walnuts overtop. Serve right away.

Double recipe:
Double ingredients. With time greens wilt and apples brown so it is best to toss 1 recipe's worth at a time. The dressing can be made in quantity and divided for tossing.

Makes 8 servings