Monday, April 19, 2010

Wilted Winter Greens Salad

We had this great salad with the beef roast and gnocchi on Easter Sunday.  This could be a new favorite salad.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy it.  The bourbon soaked apples along with the pecans really made this terrific.  A quick change in the type of greens could transform this from a winter to a summer salad!

Wilted Winter Greens Salad
1 tablespoon bourbon
3 medium apples (McIntosh, if available) washed, cheeks removed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
3/4 cup pecan halves
Kosher salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 heads radicchio, cores removed, leaves removed, torn into bite-size pieces and washed and dried
1 head arugula leaves, washed and dried
1 head escarole leaves, torn into bite-size pieces, washed and dried
2 heads endive, bottoms removed and the leaves halved lengthwise

1.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2.  In a medium bowl, add the bourbon and the apple slices. Season with salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
3.  Make the dressing: In a large bowl, or with a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the pecans until they are in small pieces and season with salt. Add the olive oil and whisk with the nuts to make a paste-like mixtue. Stir in the cider vinegar and some black pepper. Set aside.
4.  When ready to serve, add the greens to a large bowl and stir in the dressing. Toss to coat the greens with the dressing. Transfer the salad to a platter (or individual plates). Put the platter in the oven with the door ajar until the greens wilt ever so slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the apple slices.

Cook's Note: if there is any excess bourbon, leave it behind in the bowl as you top the salad with the apples. Serve immediately.

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