Apple & Manchego Salad with Marcona Almonds
Here's a wonderful salad for the holiday season: crunchy tart apples, creamy Manchego, and luxurious Marcona almonds.
I found the recipe, from Jose Andres of Jaleo in Washington, D.C., in the October 2006 Bon Appetit,
I love Manchego, an aged Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk, which is creamy and dry at the same time, and was instantly drawn to this recipe, which really emphasized the Manchego's creaminess.
The Marcona almonds are a treat and I left them whole rather than chopping them. These flat Spanish almonds have a marvelous flavour and are crunchier than other almonds. They are also much more expensive. The ones I used had been fried in oil and salted. I tasted them as soon as I got home from Whole Foods and then had to hide them in the back of the pantry to avoid "snacking" on the lot!
To make the recipe healthier, I increased the number of Granny Smith apples from 1 to 3, and cut the olive oil from 1/4 cup to about 1 tbsp. Quantities listed below are approximations (I was making this for guests and didn't measure).
Apple & Manchego Salad with Marcona Almonds (adapted from Jose Andres' recipe in Bon Appetit Oct. 06):
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
4-6 oz Manchego cheese, roughly cubed
1/2 cup+ Marcona almonds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Combine the apples, Manchego and almonds in a bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and stir well to coat. Stir in snipped chives and serve.