Fall Salad With Apples, Cheddar and Crispy Sage
Bubbling sage leaves in olive oil until sizzling provides crisp thrills in this simple, flavorful combination of salty cheese and sweet apples, while the resulting sage-scented oil melds with honey and lemon to create a herbaceous dressing. Mild, leafy butter lettuce helps tie it all together, but slightly bitter chicories like frisée, escarole or endive would work well, too. This salad makes a fun sidekick for main proteins like Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken, Porchetta Pork Chops or store-bought sausages or rotisserie chicken.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup olive oil
- 25medium to large sage leaves
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and pepper
- 2tablespoons honey
- 2teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ⅓cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
- 1medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1pound sweet and crisp apples (such as Honeycrisp or Cripps Pink, 2 to 3 medium)
- 6ounces aged white Cheddar, chopped or sliced into bite-size pieces
- ¼cup chopped parsley
- 2small or medium heads butter lettuce, leaves torn (about 6 loosely packed cups)
Step 1Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan or pot over medium until the oil is hot enough to make a sample sage leave sizzle immediately, about 3 minutes. Working in batches, place the sage leaves in the hot oil, moving them with a fork or spoon to help them fry evenly, and cook until the oil stops bubbling and leaves crisp up, about 1 minute. Transfer the sage leaves to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper; repeat with remaining sage leaves.
Step 2Remove the saucepan from the heat then stir in the honey and Dijon mustard until combined; set aside to cool.
Step 3Mix the lemon juice and shallot together in a large bowl. Slice the apples into 1/4-inch wedges, toss with the shallot and lemon juice and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Add the Cheddar and parsley and toss to coat.
Step 4Once the sage-honey oil has cooled until just warm, pour into the bowl with the apples and Cheddar, toss well to coat. Gently fold in the lettuce. The Cheddar and apples will be pesky and fall to the bottom of the bowl, but scoop as much as you can to arrange them on top of the lettuce. Top with whole or crushed sage leaves and serve immediately.