Butter Fried Walnut, Honey Crisp Apple and Goat Cheese Crouton Salad

This recipe was one of my three submissions for the California Walnuts Holiday Blogger Challenge. My favorite way to eat walnuts is fried in butter (Julia Child winks at this one). I wanted to create a salad that had a variety of textures and celebrated Toronto in the Fall. The goat cheese croutons were a brilliant addition and it is my hope they make me famous. I wanted my vinaigrette to showcase the region so featured Inniskillin’s Vidal Icewine paired with Apple Cider Vinegar which contrasted nicely with the crunch of honey crisp apples.  Once the walnuts had toasted nicely in butter I tossed them in dried lemon zest and let them cool over night. They are brilliant in this salad but also act as a great snack right out of the bowl.

Mixed Greens

1/2 Honey Crisp Apple

2 T Goat Cheese

Bread Crumbs

2 T Butter

1 cup California Walnuts

1/8 tsp dried lemon zest

1/2 oz Ice Wine

1/2 oz apple cider vinegar

1 cup olive oil

1 T lemon juice

salt and pepper

2 T honey

1 T Dijon Mustard

For Vinaigrette: Add Ice Wine, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, honey and dijon mustard to a mason jar. Shake contents until incorporated.

For Butter Fried Walnuts: in skillet over medium heat fry butter and toast walnuts until golden brown. Sprinkle with dried lemon zest and let cool.

For Goat Cheese Croutons: roll goat cheese in your hands until the size of a cranberry. Toss in bread crumbs and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Assembly: toss greens in vinaigrette and top with julienne honey crisp apple, butter fried walnuts and goat cheese croutons.

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