Autumn Harvest Salad

Ingredients

For the roasted apples

  • 3 s  firm-fleshed apples (such as Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp), quartered, cored, and halved again
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon  unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon  grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon  Calvados or brandy
  • 1 teaspoon  fennel seeds, crushed coarsely in a mortar

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon  apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons  roasted hazelnut or walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon  fennel fronds or dill, chopped finely
  • 1/8 teaspoon  sea salt
  •    Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 1/4 cup  hazelnuts
  • 5 ounces  baby mizuna, baby arugula or mesclun
  • 24 s  large seedless grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 8 ounces  blue cheese or feta, cut into 4 ¼-inch cubes
  •    Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Raw apples are stunning in salads — they’re crunchy, not too sweet, and delightfully refreshing. They add an addictive crispness to anything they’re tossed with.

But roast the slices before adding them to your favorite greens and you have a whole new way to experience your apples! Here, the succulent fennel-roasted apples make every bite of this autumn salad a true celebration of fall’s bounty.

Directions

For the roasted apples

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Place the apple slices in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice, butter, oil, Calvados, and fennel seeds and toss with your fingers until the apple slices are well coated. Lay the slices in a nonstick baking pan and drizzle with the juices left in the bowl. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the slices, and return to the oven. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a tray, and cool to room temperature.

For the vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

For the salad

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the hazelnuts in a small baking dish and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and the skins have split. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, rub the nuts between your fingers or between clean kitchen towels to remove the skins. Discard the skins. (You can store nuts in a sealed jar until ready to use for up to 1 month.) Crush the nuts coarsely with a mortar and pestle. 

Place the baby greens in a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Place a small mound of the baby greens in the center of 4 individual plates or salad bowls. Garnish each salad with 6 apple slices, a few grapes, and the cheese cubes. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and finish with white pepper. Serve immediately.

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