Saturday, November 25, 2006

Apple & Manchego Salad with Marcona Almonds

Here's a wonderful salad for the holiday season: crunchy tart apples, creamy Manchego, and luxurious Marcona almonds.

I found the recipe, from Jose Andres of Jaleo in Washington, D.C., in the October 2006 Bon Appetit,

I love Manchego, an aged Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk, which is creamy and dry at the same time, and was instantly drawn to this recipe, which really emphasized the Manchego's creaminess.

The Marcona almonds are a treat and I left them whole rather than chopping them. These flat Spanish almonds have a marvelous flavour and are crunchier than other almonds. They are also much more expensive. The ones I used had been fried in oil and salted. I tasted them as soon as I got home from Whole Foods and then had to hide them in the back of the pantry to avoid "snacking" on the lot!

To make the recipe healthier, I increased the number of Granny Smith apples from 1 to 3, and cut the olive oil from 1/4 cup to about 1 tbsp. Quantities listed below are approximations (I was making this for guests and didn't measure).

Apple & Manchego Salad with Marcona Almonds (adapted from Jose Andres' recipe in Bon Appetit Oct. 06):
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
4-6 oz Manchego cheese, roughly cubed
1/2 cup+ Marcona almonds, lightly toasted
chopped chives
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Combine the apples, Manchego and almonds in a bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and stir well to coat. Stir in snipped chives and serve.


Blogger christine said...

This sounds wonderful Catherine. I've got some Manchego that we had with membrillo at T-giving, I've got apples and I've got toasted, slivered almonds which will just have to do. After all the recent heavy eating, this is what I'm craving.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Christine,

It is wonderfully light and crisp - definitely a nice antedote to heavy food. Thanks for your wonderful commenting!

6:23 PM  
Blogger Emariesf said...

I made this with cashews, as marconas are dear, and it came out nicely. Thanks for having tasty vegetarian food. BTW, one thing I'm looking into is rennet: I've just discovered that some of my fave cheeses I've been eating have animal rennet. I think some manchegos are available without it, but I'm not 100% sure, for what it's worth to any rennet-free vegetarians out there. Nice blog, cheers. -E

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...

This is one of my favorite dishes at Jaleo. Can't wait to make this healthier version for a Christmas party.

The only thing is at Jaleo, he cuts the apple and cheese into thin matchsticks, which I think i am going to attempt.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Sara - thanks for the tip - I'll try the matchstick approach next time. So good to hear from someone who's tried the original. I loved this!

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just returned from dinner at jaleo. I loved this salad, but I don't remember the almonds. Does he actually use them at the restaurant?

8:33 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Anon - I've never had the priviledge, but according to his recipe....

How was it? What adpations were made? I'd love to know.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


We use this salad to wine and dine fine guests that we cook for out on a ranch. I thank you for posting for it, for I forgot my cookbooks today shopping. All the women we have ever served this for, eats it until its gone.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous KG said...

The original Jaleo version also has chopped garlic - very suprised that he left that out. makes it so tasty!

4:46 PM  
Blogger Brandonisfun said...

I just had the salad two days ago and he uses walnuts. Amazing! Also, the apples were thinly sliced, i remember them dropping over my fork as i was shoveling it into my mouth.

6:22 PM  

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