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Hearts of Romaine Salad With Apples, Cheese and Hazelnuts

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“For best results, select crisp, flavorful apples.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Salad
  • 5 -6 cups of hearts romaine leaves (the light green, crisp inner portion of a head of Romaine lettuce)
  • 2 -3 flavorful apples, peeled and cored, then sliced as described below (such as Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp)
  • scant 1 cup of crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette With Sweet Honey Mustard
  • 12 cup red wine vinegar or 12 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sweet honey mustard (I use Inglehoffer brand made here in Oregon)
  • 14 teaspoon salt (reduced from 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 12 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 23 cup grapeseed oil (in place of canola)


  1. Vinaigrette: In a container, whisk together the vinegars, sugar, sweet mustard, salt and vanilla. Whisk in the oil. Makes a generous 1 cup of vinaigrette.
  2. Salad: Arrange the romaine on individual salad plates.
  3. To prepare the peeled and cored apples, cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices, then cut each slice into thirds.
  4. Place the apples in a small bowl and toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat the pieces. You can prepare the apple mixture up to an hour ahead. Important: If you coat the apples with the dressing any longer than that, they will absorb too much of the vinaigrette, which overwhelms the apple flavor.
  5. Divide the apple mixture among the salads. Top each serving with a portion of the cheese and then a portion of the hazelnuts.
  6. Drizzle an extra bit of the vinaigrette over the greens and around the edges of the salad. Serve.
  7. Alternatively: Instead of hearts of Romaine lettuce, consider a mixture of baby spinach, hearts of Romaine and/or other mixed young greens. You could also substitute feta or white cheddar, aged gouda, etc. for the blue cheese.
  8. Another serving option would be to assemble the entire salad on a large platter instead of individual salad plates.

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