To us, the best kinds of salads are always centered around cheese (and copious amounts of it!). This winter-forward salad—a vibrant mix of chicories, Fuyu persimmons and fennel, dressed in a bracing apple cider vinaigrette—is the perfect vehicle for a fromage-loaded Mt Tam Cheese toastie. Broiled until just melted and topped with a drizzle of honey and flaky salt, this ooey, gooey topper finds harmony with the bitterness of the greens and the slightly sweet persimmons. Serve as a starter or as a light main.
Recipe, food styling, and photography by Asha Loupy
For the dressing:
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon honey, plus more for finishing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the cheese toasties & salad:
Two 6-inch long pieces of baguette, cut in half lengthwise
One wheel Mt. Tam, cut into 12 wedges
3 cups mixed chicories, such as treviso, frisée, castelfranco or radicchio, torn into large bite-sized pieces
2 cups little gems or butter lettuce, torn into large, bite-sized piece
2 Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced into rounds
1 small head fennel, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fennel fronds (optional)
Flaky sea salt, for finishing
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped shallot, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and mix well. Let sit for 5–10 minutes (this will mellow the sharpness of the shallots).
- To finish the dressing, whisk in the honey and then whisk in the olive oil, in a slow, steady stream until emulsified. Set aside.
- While the shallots are macerating, preheat the broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the baguette pieces, slice side up, on the pan. Place under the broiler until the bread just starts to turn golden, about 30 seconds to one minute.
- Arrange three wedges of Mt. Tam on each piece of baguette, shingling them slightly. Place back under the broiler and broil until the cheese is just melted and starting to bubble, about 1–2 minutes.
- To assemble, give the reserved dressing another whisk to re-emulsify. Add the chicories, lettuces, persimmons, fennel and fennel fronds to the bowl with the dressing, tossing to coat.
- To serve, transfer the dressed salad to a platter or individual plates. Place the hot Mt. Tam cheese toasties around the salad or on the side of the salad, drizzle them with honey and top with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
Need to stock up on cheese for this recipe? Ask your local cheesemonger for our triple cream Mt Tam, or check out our Tam Time package, featuring a wheel of cheese, raw honey, and artisan crisps.