Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Caramelized Goat Cheese
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 first-course servings
Loretta Keller's salad is an unusual and appealing combination of brussels sprout leaves, smoked ham and toasted pine nuts, topped with a piece of local goat cheese (Keller uses Cypress Grove Chèvre's Bermuda Triangle) and a tangy apple vinaigrette. It was conceived by Jennifer Biesty, a former chef at Keller's restaurant.
- 1 Granny Smith applepeeled, quartered and cored
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped shallot
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- One 6-ounce piece of smoked ham, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, leaves separated and cores discarded
- 1 Fuji apple, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- One 4-ounce piece of chilled Bûcheron (semi-aged goat cheese), quartered
- 1 1/2 teaspoon snipped chives
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small baking dish, toss the Granny Smith apple quarters with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt. Roast the apple quarters for about 15 minutes, until they are very tender and browned in spots.
- Scrape the apple and its juices into a blender. Add the water, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallot and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the blender. With the machine on, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the canola oil and puree until the dressing is smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
- In a very large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the skillet, until the nuts are golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
- In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the ham and cook over moderately high heat until browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Add the brussels sprout leaves and Fuji apple and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the pine nuts, parsley and 6 tablespoons of the apple dressing and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. (Reserve the remaining dressing for another use.) Season with salt and pepper and transfer to plates.
- Heat a medium nonstick skillet over high heat. Set the goat cheese in the skillet and cook undisturbed until the cheese begins to bubble and a golden crust forms, about 1 minute per side. Carefully set the caramelized cheese on top of the warm salads, sprinkle with the chives and serve.
Keller offers this dish with a hard-to-find Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, but a crisp white would also pair well. Fumé Blanc, a term coined by the late Robert Mondavi as a substitute for Sauvignon Blanc, hints at the smoky minerality that this variety sometimes showswhich makes it a good partner for the smoked ham in Keller's robust salad.