If you need to hit the pause button on the pumpkin and the peppermint before you overdose, we have the perfect distraction. This salad was developed by our cheesemonger, Dalynne and it has everything you're looking for in a lettuce-less salad.
The Golden Greek cheese is made by our friends at Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese in Gooding, ID and is a Halloumi cheese. Halloumi Cheese is traditionally made from a mixture of sheep's and goat's milk, but this local version is made with fresh milk from Jersey cows. It has been made in Cyprus, an island claimed by both Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, for hundreds of years. The name "Halloumi" is derived from the Greek word "almi" meaning brine. This refers to the brine, or salt water solution that is used to preserve the cheese. Due to its high melting point, Halloumi is great grilling cheese as it browns without melting. Because of its high salt content, it pairs nicely in salads with sweet candied pecans and crisp apples and is balanced out with a tangy mustard vinaigrette.
To make this salad you will need:
2 large apples, such as Gala or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored and cut into cubes 2 tablespoons lemon juice ½ small red onion, sliced thinly ½ pound local Golden Greek Cheese 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup pecans ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
In a large bowl, toss the chopped apples in the lemon juice.
Candy the pecans: In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Lower heat and add pecans. With a rubber spatula, move coat the pecans in the sugar and butter, moving them around the pan. Once they are completely coated and the mixture is bubbling, remove from heat. Let the pecans cool on a place and chop them into smaller pieces.
Grill the cheese: Cut cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Place cheese in skillet and brown on all sides, taking care not to burn them.
Add the cheese, pecans, onions and mint to the apples. Toss with vinaigrette (recipe is below) and serve.
To make the vinaigrette you will need:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honey ¼ cup molasses ½ cup olive oil ½ teaspoon salt 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper ½ teaspoon white pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except olive oil. When fully mixed add olive oil in a slow stream and whisk until it thicken.