Notes: Chef Jonathon Gillespie of Vista Verde Ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, overlaps the apple slices like wings on top of each serving. We've mixed in the apple slices for an easier presentation. If desired, toast the nuts (step 1) up to 1 day ahead; store airtight.
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup walnut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon raw or firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
Salt and pepper
2 Fuji or other sweet apples (8 oz. each)
3/4 cup thinly slivered red onion, rinsed
6 quarts mixed baby greens (1 lb.), rinsed and crisped
8 ounces Maytag or other blue cheese, crumbled
How to Make It
In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir walnuts often until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, shallots, garlic, mustard, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the toasted walnuts. Stir in chives and salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse apples; quarter, core, and thinly slice lengthwise. Add apples, red onion, and mixed baby greens to dressing and mix to coat. Add half the cheese and mix gently. Mound salad equally on 8 to 10 plates. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and toasted walnuts. Add more salt and pepper to taste.