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Waldorf Salad with Blue Cheese

A wide selection of both domestic and imported blue cheeses is available these days, and they vary in texture and taste. For this salad, a modern riff on a classic, try a blue cheese that is dry and crumbly, such as Cabrales or Valdeón, but a creamy Gorgonzola would also work well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 oz. (90 g) blue cheese
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 6 heads white or red Belgian endive
  • 2 sweet-tart apples, such as Gala, Honeycrisp or Fuji, halved,
      cored and sliced paper-thin
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 Tbs. snipped fresh chives (about 3/4-inch/2-cm lengths)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar and one-third of the cheese. Using a fork, mash in the cheese to form a vinaigrette. Stir in the shallots and pepper. Set aside.

You can quarter, slice or chop the endive. If quartering, cut away most of the solid cone-shaped base from each endive, leaving only enough to hold each quarter together, then cut the endive lengthwise into quarters. Or, cut away the entire base and thinly slice or coarsely chop the leaves.

In a large bowl, combine the endive and apples and toss gently to mix. Divide among 4 to 6 plates. Crumble the remaining two-thirds of the cheese over the top, dividing it evenly, then pour the vinaigrette over the salads. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chives and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2010).