RECIPE: Chicory Salad with Nutkrack and Blue Cheese
One of the best things about cooking with Nutkrack, and about eating it, is that our candied pecans are WAY less sweet than all the rest. We use more than 50% less sugar than a typical candied nut, and we let the natural sweetness of the toasted pecan shine through.
When Chef Eric is writing recipes for the dinner table, this really comes through. A dish like this has plenty of pleasantly bitter and salty notes, and the addition of Nutkrack provides a sweet counterpoint, along with a hint of rich umami from the pecans...truly the king of nuts!
Chicory Salad with Blue Cheese, Apples, Nutkrack and Cider Vinaigrette
Makes a large salad for 4 people
For the Chickories- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory
1 head each curly endive, Belgian endive, radicchio- cores removed, washed and spun dry
For the Vinaigrette
3 cups fresh apple cider, reduced to about 3 TBSP in a non-reactive sauce pan over medium heat, cooled to room temperature
1 shallot (about 2 TBSP), peeled and diced fine
Pinch kosher salt
A little fresh ground black pepper
2 TBSP cider vinegar (sherry vinegar also works well)
2 tsp Dijon style mustard
¾ cup safflower, sunflower or canola oil (a good cold pressed neutral flavored oil is best)
For the Cheese
4 ounces blue cheese ( I LOVE Hook’s Blue cheese, crumbled)
For the Apples
2 apples, sliced very thin. A nice firm, tart apple works really well for this recipe. A mandolin works best to slice them, but certainly not necessary.
For the Nutkrack
4 ounces Nutkrack
Prep the chosen chicories. Place in a large mixing bowl. Put in the fridge.
For the Vinaigrette-
Place everything but the oil in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
Alternate method is to put all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and just shake the heck out of it just before serving. Technically it will not be emulsified, but if you do this just before mixing with the salad it works just fine.
Crumble the cheese
Prep the apples
Toss chicories, cheese and apples together just before serving. Place in serving bowl or individual bowls and liberally sprinkle the Nutkrack over the top. Serve the dressing on the side and dress last. Do not mix in Nutkrack to preserve coating and crunchiness.
Man, I love this salad! -- Chef Eric