Chicory Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Smoked Blue Cheese
A warm and nutty yet sharp vinaigrette brings out the toasted sweetness of smoked blue cheese, while allowing its rich paste to pop. The vinaigrette can be made in advance and rewarmed just before serving.
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound mixed chicories such as radicchio, escarole, endive, Treviso, or Castelfranco
- ½ cup hazelnuts toasted and chopped
- 1 Honeycrisp or Jonagold apple cored and cut into thin wedges
- ½ cup crumbled smoked blue cheese such as Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue
► VINAIGRETTE: Melt butter in a small saucepan with a light-colored bottom (to more easily keep track of its browning) over medium heat. Continue cooking at a low simmer, swirling pan occasionally, as color progresses from light yellow to golden brown. Butter is ready when foam subsides and bubbling quiets down, and it smells nutty. Remove from heat and strain into a heat-safe bowl to remove solids. Cool for about 30 minutes.
► Combine vinegars, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in brown butter and whisk until vinaigrette has emulsified. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as necessary.
► TO ASSEMBLE: Toss mixed chicories with three-quarters of vinaigrette in a large bowl. Taste and add more dressing as desired. Add hazelnuts and apple wedges, toss, and taste again, adjusting seasoning as necessary. Transfer to a large platter and top with crumbled blue cheese. Serve immediately.