Autumn Salad with Apples, Pomegranate and Candied Walnuts
Celebrity Chef Celebrates the Season
First, prepare the candied walnuts. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Arrange the walnuts in a baking pan and toast them in the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes, checking to make sure they don't burn.
Pour the peanut oil into a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Slowly heat it to 350 degrees F. on a deep-frying thermometer.
While the oil heats, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the toasted walnuts and boil for about 1 minute. Drain well, then transfer the nuts to paper towels and pat dry.
When the oil reaches frying temperature, put the confectioners' sugar in a small mixing bowl, add the nuts, and toss to coat them. Then, with a slotted metal spoon, carefully lower the nuts into the hot oil. Cook until deep golden brown, about 30 seconds, and then immediately lift them out carefully with the slotted spoon and transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Next, prepare the balsamic dijon vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, put the vinegar, mustard, shallot, and thyme. Stir together with a wire whisk. Then, whisking continually, very slowly pour in the olive, hazelnut, and walnut oils, continuing to whisk until the dressing is thick and creamy. Set aside.
For the salad, separate the endive leaves, rinse and pat them dry; then, stack them, cut crosswise into thin julienne strips, and transfer to a large salad bowl. Rinse the frisée, pat dry with paper towels, trim the leaves, and tear into bite-sized pieces, transferring them to the bowl. Rinse and pat dry the arugula leaves and add to the bowl along with the mixed greens. Peel and core the apples and cut them into julienne strips and add to the bowl.
With a sturdy, sharp knife, quarter the pomegranate. Immerse each quarter in a bowl of cold water and, with your fingers, separate the seeds from the peel and white pith. Transfer the seeds to paper towels to drain.
Add the dressing to the bowl of salad ingredients and toss until thoroughly mixed and evenly coated. Mound the salad on individual serving plates. Garnish with the cheese, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and dates, and serve immediately.
Styled by Karen Pickus