Taleggio with Winter Greens and Hazelnuts
A ripe Italian Taleggio is one of the world’s most distinctive cheeses—earthy and nutty, with a creamy, smooth texture. Don’t settle for an underripe or overripe portion; ask to taste at the store. If it’s chalky (underripe) or ammoniated (overripe), leave it behind. From The Cheese Course.
- 3 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 shallot, minced
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts
- 3 Belgian endives
- 1/2 small head radicchio
- 3 ounces (about 4 cups) young, small arugula with no thick stems
- 3/4 pound Taleggio cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallot and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 30 minutes to allow the shallot flavor to mellow. Taste and adjust the balance as needed.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet until fragrant and lightly colored, about 30 minutes. Immediately wrap them in a clean dishtowel and rub them vigorously in the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. (Don’t worry if a lot of skin adheres.) Chop the nuts coarsely.
Halve the endive lengthwise and remove the core. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Core the radicchio and tear into bite-size pieces. In a serving bowl, combine the endive, radicchio, arugula and hazelnuts. Add enough of the dressing to coat the leaves lightly; you may not need it all. Toss well, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Pass the salad and cheese separately, or divide both among 6 plates.