Frisée Salad with Walnuts and Roquefort
A Simple But Luxurious Winter Green Salad
- Servings: 4.
Frisée is closely related to chicory but it's not at all as bitter. Its lacy leaves fade from dark green to nearly white and it has a fresh flavor that stands up to equally robust ingredients. In a classic French salad, frisée is combined with pieces of cooked bacon and a poached egg (Frisée avec Lardons).
In this version, the crispy leaves combine with toasted walnuts and creamy, salty Roquefort, one of France's greatest contributions to the world's food. A small amount of watercress adds color and peppery flavor.
- 1 large head frisée (enough so that when the leaves are separated, washed, and torn into bite-sized pieces, it makes about 6 heaping cups)
- 1 bunch watercress, stems discarded (about 1 to 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Place the walnuts on a dry sheet pan. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until crisp and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Watch them carefully so that they don't burn. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- In a small bowl, combine the minced shallot, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, a generous pinch of salt, and several grinds of black pepper. With a fork or whisk, combine until the salt dissolves. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Hold aside.
- In a salad bowl, combine the frisée and watercress. Drizzle about 4 tablespoons vinaigrette on the greens and toss to combine. Add more dressing if necessary.
- Sprinkle the finished salad with the walnut halves and Roquefort. Toss gently to combine.
- Serve immediately.
Tip: You can substitute one tablespoon of the olive oil with walnut oil. But don't add much more than that because walnut oil is rich and strong flavored and can throw the balance of the salad off.