Apple, Fennel and Walnut Salad


So many cheeses would be compatible with this palate-refreshing salad, but here’s one appealing trio: Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise, Vermont Creamery Crottin and Point Reyes Bay Blue. Another option: Cantal, Roquefort and Sainte-Maure. From The Cheese Course by Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books)

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, halved
  • 1 red-skinned apple, halved and cored
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, salt and pepper. Let stand 30 minutes to allow the shallot flavor to mellow. Taste and adjust the balance as needed.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Toast the walnuts until fragrant and lightly colored, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then break into small pieces or chop coarsely.

With a mandoline or other manual slicing device, slice the fennel bulbs thinly crosswise. Slice the apple halves thinly crosswise. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, apple, walnuts and parsley. Add the dressing and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

Serves 6