Here's a fun and elegant way to serve up a fresh tasting apple salad, from Chef Dustin Gallagher.
For Salad3 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled
5-6 stalks celery, washed and trimmed
1 cup celery leaves
1 cup aged white cheddar, cut into small dice
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
as needed lemon juice, for tossing apples
Hazelnut Puree1 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
1 1/2 cups 3% milk
to taste salt
Apple Puree* apple scraps, reserved from salad prep
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp bourbon
to taste salt
Brown Butter Maple Vinaigrette1/2 cup butter, melted and cooked until brown and nutty, cooled
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
to taste salt and pepper
- Prep salad: Using melon baller, scoop out balls from apples (approx 24 total, reserve scraps). Or, if not using melon baller, cut into bite sized cubes, reserving scraps. Toss apple balls or cubes in lemon juice and set aside. Using peeler, create long thin strips from celery stalks. Cut strips into bite sized (about 1 - 1 1/2 inch) pieces and soak in ice water to keep crisp.
- Make Hazelnut Puree: Combine toasted hazelnuts and milk in medium pot. Bring just up to simmer, and let cook gently about 5 minutes, until hazelnuts are soft. Take off heat and let stand for a few minutes to cool down. Blend, scraping down sides of blender, until very smooth and creamy. (You may need to add a bit more milk to adjust consistency.) Season with salt.
- Make Apple Puree: Combine reserved apple scraps from salad prep with butter and bourbon in a small pot. Cover and cook on medium low until apple is soft and cooked through. Puree until very smooth and creamy. Season with salt to taste.
- Make Brown Butter Maple Dressing: Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- For Assembly: Spoon a small amount of hazelnut and apple puree on bottom of plate or salad bowl. Arrange apple pieces on top. Place shaved celery (remove and drain well from ice water) and celery leaves on top. Drizzle dressing over. Garnish with diced white cheddar and crushed toasted hazelnuts.
Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish