This is the perfect salad for people who love blue cheese: Laura Werlin whisks some cheese into the vinaigrette, then sprinkles more on top of the salad before serving.
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon very finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
2 romaine hearts, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 seedless cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 Fuji apple, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons thinly shredded basil leaves
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast them for about 10 minutes, until they are golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, whisk the shallot with the Dijon mustard and sherry vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk until smooth. Add half of the blue cheese and whisk until the dressing is creamy. Add the lettuce, fennel, carrots, cucumber, apple, avocado, basil and walnuts and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad well to coat with the dressing. Top with the remaining blue cheese and serve right away.