In keeping with our usual quick and easy theme for Friday, last night's salad was all of that and more. This fabulous light dinner was inspired by a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Idaho a la Carte and made good use of some of those wonderful crisp apples that so mean "fall" in my mind along with a cheese that is truly the King of cheeses, Stilton.
I absolutely love the stuff but seldom buy it because of the price. We're pretty darn happy I kicked the budget to the curb and grabbed some for this salad. Stilton is a product of jolly old and is only produced in three counties Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire England. Made of cows milk its distinctive white crust and blue veined interior is quite crumbly and almost acidic when it's young, but as it matures it becomes smoother with a buttery texture, and a more mellow flavor.
The one we had last night was absolutely incredible - creamy smooth and about the best "blue" cheese ever. On a bed of fresh greens surrounded by wedges of granny smith apple and toasted walnuts with a sweet yet sharp honey mustard shallot vinaigrette, we were happy campers. Course we had to have a little rib eye along with our salad to keep the big guy happy, but it was amazing how well that rare steak went with the sharp, sweet, tart flavors in the salad.
All in all, I'd say this salad is a real keeper and a perfect addition to your holiday menu. I know it'll have a place on honor on mine!
Apple and Stilton Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette (Inspired by Idaho a la Carte)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
1 shallot, minced
3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
Combine all above ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth and emulsified. Chill until serving time.
1 package mixed spring greens
2 granny smith apples, cored sliced in wedges
4 ounces mature Stilton cheese, at room temperature sliced in small wedges
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Arrange all ingredients on a plate or platter. Drizzle with Shallot Vinaigrette. Serve with fresh ground black pepper. Download Apple and Stilton Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette