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Fruit and Salemville Gorgonzola Salad

INGREDIENTS:Caramelized Pecan Toffee:
1 cup pecan pieces
2 cups granulated sugar

Sherry Walnut Vinaigrette:
2 shallots, finely diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 ½ cups walnut oil
1 ½ cups olive oil
to taste, salt and ground black pepper

5 heads Belgian endive, julienne
3 Granny Smith apples, julienne
3 Bosc or Bartlett pears, julienne
as needed, sherry walnut vinaigrette (see above)
1 ½ cups Salemville Gorgonzola, crumbled
as needed, caramel pecan toffee (see above)
3 heirloom marble or vine-ripe tomatoes
to taste, freshly ground black pepper DIRECTIONS:In a saute pan, toast pecans lightly. Add sugar and caramelize sugar with nuts until nuts are well-coated. Pour caramel onto oiled sheetpan and allow to cool. When cool, roughly chop.

For Sherry Walnut Vinaigrette:
In a bowl, place shallots, thyme and mustard. Add vinegar. While whisking continuously, add the two oils to emulsify mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss endive, apples and pears with vinaigrette. Divide among plates. Sprinkle Salemville Gorgonzola cheese and toffee over each salad. Arrange 3 tomato wedges around each salad. Grind pepper over each salad. Serve with a young, fruity Chardonnay. SERVINGS:8-12 servings From:Chef Mich'l R. Maddox, Le Titi de Paris, Arlington Heights, IL. PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: DAIRY MANAGEMENT INC.