Baby greens with manchego and quince vinaigrette, a lovely, simple salad with staying power. From the most basic to complex, for me, salads never get old. There are limitless combinations from basic to bold, and nothing is off-limits. This is a favorite elegant favorite of mine that hinges on the sweet-salty homemade quince vinaigrette that is effortless in preparation.
Quince, for those unfamiliar, is a fragrant fruit belonging to the Rosaceae family, which also includes apples and pears. It is native to the warm temperate regions of Southwest Asia. Quince is a seasonal fruit and is available from autumn to winter. But when ripe, the fruit is golden yellow in color and resembles a pear in shape. It has a fuzzy surface that is similar to that of peaches and a light yellow, gritty flesh with multiple seeds in the center. It has a tart flavor and is seldom eaten raw.
In this recipe I use a store bought quince spread (often used on cheese boards) to make a simple homemade vinaigrette pop with just a little drizzling. Quince paste, also called membrillo, is practically the national snack of Spain when paired with Manchego, I cheese I’ve always been fond of. Manchego, made from rich sheep’s milk, is perhaps the best known of the Spanish cheeses. With a flavor similar to that of Parmigiano-Reggiano, it provides the perfect paring in this simple salad with wonderful complex fruit and nut flavors shine.
Baby Greens With Manchego And Quince Vinaigrette
A simple, elegant salad that's easy to whip up any day of the week.
- For the Quince Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons quince spread or jam
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- dash of black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 1/3 cup whole, raw almonds, lightly toasted
- 3 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved
- 4 cups mixed baby greens (baby lettuce such as Romain and leaf, beet and fennel frons) packed
- Step 1 For the Vinaigrette: Using a small glass jar or mixing bowl, add the quince jam, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk well to blend, set aside.
- Step 2 For the Salad: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet. Once the oven is hot, lightly toast the almonds just until fregrent, about 5 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven, allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, roughtky chop and reserve,
- Step 3 To assemble, plave the baby greens in a large mixing bowl. Lightly dress with the quince vinegrette. Sprinkle in the chopped almonds and Manchego. Serve immedietely.
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