Mache Salad with Hazelnuts, Dried Cherries, & Goat Cheese. Or Not.
Or Arugula Salad with Walnuts, Apples, & Cheddar. Or Frisee Salad with Almonds, Pears, & Gorgonzola. You see where I’m going. The recipe below can be altered, riffed on, adjusted endlessly. Use what’s in season, or your favorite combination, or whatever sounds perfect with your entree. All that matters is that you end up with crunchy, creamy, salty, and sweet, all in the same salad, all in the same bite. Yeah. Pick a green, then toast some nuts, perhaps use a nut oil to match, perhaps a vinegar to match, include an aromatic (chives, scallions, or shallots), weave in a few bites of fresh or dried fruit, perhaps a cheese to complement, always salt and pepper, and it’s good. Have at it.
Mache Salad with Hazelnuts, Dried Cherries, & Goat Cheese
4 handfuls washed and carefully dried mache (or frisee, watercress, arugula…)
1/2 c. dried cherries (or fresh apple, pear, citrus…)
1/4 c. thinly sliced shallots (or chives, scallions, red onion…)
1/4 c. crumbled soft goat cheese (or cheddar, Parmesan, feta…)
1/4 c. toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts, pecans, pine nuts…)
3 Tbsp. hazelnut oil (or walnut, almond, olive…)
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or champagne, apple cider, sherry…)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Pour just enough vinaigrette over salad to lightly coat (you might not use it all). Sprinkle a little coarse salt and a few grinds of pepper over the salad. Toss well, divide evenly among four plates, and serve immediately.