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Ensalada Verde with Idiazábal Cheese

Jose Garces says that this salad uses all of his favorite greens--romaine, arugula, frisee and watercress--in addition to crunchy apples and pears and creamy avocado. The crowning touch in the salad is Idiazabal cheese, a semifirm Spanish sheep's-milk cheese that has a rich, buttery flavor and a slight smokiness (it was traditionally aged in stone chimneys).


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12

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  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound thin green beans, trimmed
  • 3 romaine hearts, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 bunch watercress, thick stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 small head frisée, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups baby arugula (2 ounces)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple—halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Bosc pear—halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 pound Idiazábal or Manchego cheese, coarsely shredded


  1. In a small bowl, mix the sherry vinegar with the shallot and thyme and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, honey and olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the green beans under cold running water until they are cool; pat dry. Cut the green beans into 1/2-inch lengths.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the romaine hearts, watercress, frisée, arugula, apple, pear, avocado and Idiazábal cheese. Toss the salad with the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Serve the salad at once.

Make Ahead

The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Published November 2008

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