Salad of Mâche, Belgian Endive, Apple, Walnuts & Roquefort

        From the blog For Love of the Table

For the vinaigrette:

2 T. Champagne vinegar

1 small shallot, peeled and finely minced (1 1/2 to 2 T.)

1/4 t. salt, or to taste

1 t. Dijon mustard

6 T. extra-virgin olive oil


For the salad:

3 1/2 to 4 oz. mâche rosettes, washed and spun dry

1 large (7 to 8 oz.) apple—choose something juicy, crisp and sweet-tart (like a Pink Lady or Honey Crisp)

2 heads Belgian Endive (about 8 oz.)

1 c. (4 oz.) walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely broken

4 oz. Roquefort


Make the vinaigrette:  Place the vinegar in a small bowl with the shallots and salt.  Set aside for five minutes or so to let the shallots soften a bit. Add the mustard and whisk until smooth. While whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a thin stream to form a slightly thickened, emulsified dressing.  Taste and correct the seasoning with salt.  Set aside. (You will have more vinaigrette than you need for this salad--but it keeps well and it is a nice all purpose vinaigrette.)


To make the salad, trim the root ends of the mâche rosettes.  It is ok to leave the rosettes intact, as long as there is no root attached.  You may also trim them in such a way that the leaves are all separate.  I like to trim it so that the larger leaves are separate and a few small rosettes remain. 


Wash the apple. Halve lengthwise and remove the core.  Cut each half into a neat quarter inch dice. 


Remove any bruised outer leaves of the endive and discard.  Halve the endive and remove the cores (by cutting a "v" shape around the core on each half with the tip of a paring knife).  Place each half face down on a cutting board and slice 1/4-inch thick on a short diagonal. 


Place the mâche, apples, endive and walnuts in a large bowl.   Crumble in the Roquefort.  Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and season well with salt and pepper.  Carefully toss so that all of the ingredients are thoroughly coated with the vinaigrette.  Add more vinaigrette as needed.  Taste and correct the seasoning.  If the salad seems well-seasoned and well-dressed, but still tastes a bit flat, give it a squeeze of lemon and toss again.  Mound the salad on a platter or divide among individual salad plates.  Serves 4 to 6.


Note:  The mâche and walnuts may be prepared ahead.  The apples and endive must be cut right before serving as they will both oxidize after being cut.