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Salad of Winter Greens

December 1, 2009

This is just the kind of salad I like, with lots of sturdy, flavorful greens and a great dressing.  I saw this salad being made on Alex’s Day Off on the Food Network and knew it would be a great one to pair with a hearty dish, such as Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s a unique recipe, with bourbon-soaked apples and a dressing made from ground pecans and olive oil.  Plus, the whole thing goes in the oven for a minute to barely wilt some of the greens.  Since it’s made of greens with a lot of heft, they will last a few days in the fridge.  Beware if you don’t like bitter greens- this salad might be too much for your taste.  Serves 8.

Ingredients:

1 head escarole, washed and roughly chopped

1 head Belgian endive, outer leaves removed, then head sliced into 1/2″ rings and rinsed

1 head radicchio, outer leaves removed, then head roughly chopped

1 apple, such as honeycrisp, gala, Fuji or Braeburn

2 T bourbon

3/4 c roasted salted pecans

1/3-1/2 c olive oil

2-4 T cider vinegar (depending on taste)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.   Toss salad greens together in a large bowl.  Slice apple into 1/4″ slices and toss in a small bowl with the bourbon.  Season with salt and pepper.  Using a large mortar and pestle, grind walnuts into small pieces, so there are some fine bits and some larger bits.  Whisk in olive oil, then stir in cider vinegar (use as much as you prefer).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss salad greens with pecan dressing and mound onto an oven proof platter or bowl.  Place greens in oven with door ajar for 1-3 minutes, until greens just begin to wilt.  Remove from oven and top with apples, then serve.

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