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Granny Smith Apple
Slice a crisp Granny Smith apple into a watercress salad. Photo by George Georgiades. 

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October 2006

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fruits

Apple, Bacon & Watercress Salad

Crisp Fall Apples Meet Tangy Cress

 

We love frisée in salad. The spiky-leaved, pale green relative of chicory, traditionally served with lardons (oblong cubes) of bacon in a vinaigrette—often with crumbled blue cheese, fanned slices of pear and walnuts—makes a delightful salad. It’s a French classic.

Here’s a different take on lardons and fruit and greens that substitutes watercress for the frisée and sautéed Granny Smith apples for the pear.

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, preferably hard and tart like Granny Smiths
  • 4 ounce slab of bacon diced into 1-inch lardons
  • 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese (optional)
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnut halves (optional)
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 large bunches watercress (bunches vary from market to market, so judge according to how many servings you need)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper

Directions

  • Toast the walnuts (directions on how to toast walnuts).
  • Add the bacon to a cold pan to render out the fat. Put the pan over a low heat and fry the lardons until crisp. Drain the excess fat from the pan.
  • Turn heat up to high, add apples and minced shallot, sauté for about one minute.
  • Mix dressing from vinegar and oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss watercress in vinaigrette. Plate watercress.
  • Slice apples in a thin wedges. Fan on top of watercress.  Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts.

 

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