Monday, September 3, 2012

Roasted Apple & Pecan Salad with Stilton Cheese

A lovely Labour Day salad featuring sweet roasted apples, tangy stilton cheese and crunchy toasted pecans, topped with a fragrant Dijon mustard vinaigrette, is a marriage made in heaven. This Roasted Apple & Pecan Salad with Stilton Cheese is a delicious full flavoured way to welcome the start of September and take full culinary advantage of the glorious array of fresh Ontario apples to be found at local markets and farmer's stands across the province.

Roasted Apple & Pecan Salad with Stilton Cheese
Serves 4

2 medium apples
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
4 cups mixed baby greens
4 slices of Cambazola, Stilton or your favourite blue cheese
1/2 cup toasted pecans
honey for drizzling

Dijon vinaigrette:
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette, whisk lemon juice, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil then season to taste with salt and pepper. This can be made a few days ahead, covered and chilled. Return to room temperature before using.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the apples in half and core. Place apples flesh-side up in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and rosemary. Roast apples in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Place the nuts on a baking tray and roast about 5-10 minutes until warm and fragrant, watching carefully. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, toss the salad greens in a large salad bowl with the vinaigrette and divide among 4 salad plates. Place one apple half on top of each plate of greens, and garnish with a slice of stilton, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of toasted pecans.