Spring: Greens Salad With Bellwether Farms Pepato Cheese, Candied Pecans, Pickled Red Onions

Pairs perfectly with Rodney Strong Estate Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc

Recipe by Chef Jeff Mall

Pickled Red Onion
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
Pinch of kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Candied Pecans
2 cups maple syrup
1 cup pecan pieces
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon brown mustard, such as Gulden’s
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram
2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 drops hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

8 cups mixed baby greens
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 ounces Bellwether Farms pepato cheese, cut into 8 thin wedges (if unavailable, a Tuscan-style aged sheep’s milk cheese may be substituted)

For the pickled red onion: In a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegars, sugar, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Put the onion slices in a nonreactive bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over them. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.

For the candied pecans: Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a small saucepan, combine the syrup and pecans. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Drain (reserving the syrup for another use) and spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and lightly browned, 30 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, shallot, vinegar, marjoram, parsley, and garlic together. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and canola oil. Season with the hot sauce, salt, and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the greens with the vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Divide the greens among 4 salad plates and top each salad with some of the pickled onions and pecans. Place 2 cheese wedges alongside each salad and serve. Makes 4 first-course servings


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