This salad is hearty enough to serve as a meal with a good crusty baguette. Fill it out with some chunks of roasted chicken or crisp bacon if you like. Look for a good unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg, for the best flavor.
Smoked Gouda or Spanish Idiazabal may be substituted for the smoked cheddar.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 sweet-firm apples, such as Mutsu, Fuji or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
- 1 large (about 1 pound) head fennel, trimmed, cut into quarters, cored and then cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 large head frisee (about 6 ounces), trimmed, cored and broken into leaves
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 5 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shaved into strips (use a vegetable peeler)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (see headnote)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 large shallot, cut into small dice (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup toasted Marcona almonds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone liners or aluminum foil.
Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a small bowl.
Spread the apple wedges on one baking sheet and the fennel wedges on the other sheet (in a single layer). Divide the oil mixture between them, tossing to coat the wedges evenly. Roast for about 15 minutes, turning the ingredients over after about 10 minutes, until the apples soften and brown lightly and the fennel is tender when pierced with a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes. (The fennel may take slightly longer than the apples.) Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, gently toss the frisee, spinach, cheddar and tarragon in a large bowl.
Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Continue to whisk as you gradually add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, to form an emulsified dressing. Stir in the shallot; taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Add the roasted apples and fennel wedges to the frisee mixture along with half of the vinaigrette. Toss well.
Divide among individual plates. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette (to taste), and sprinkle with the almonds.
From food writer Tony Rosenfeld.
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
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