Poached Granny Smith Apple, Candied Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad

Lisa Schroeder

Mother’s Bistro & Bar - Portland, OR

Chef Lisa Schroeder of Mother's Bistro & Bar offers a creative riff on the classic pairing of apples and blue cheese with this delicious salad. Though the candied walnuts are labor-intensive, the effort is worth it; they are so delicious you'll want leftovers.


Red Wine–Poached Apples:
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • One 2-inch strip of lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled
Candied Walnuts:
  • 4 cups walnut halves, or pieces
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 24 ounces canola oil for frying
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound mesclun greens
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, sliced
  • Red wine-poached apple, sliced
  • 1/4 pound blue-veined blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup candied walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Apple cider vinaigrette


To make the red wine–poached apples, combine the red wine, water, lemon zest, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the apples. Cover and poach over low heat, turning occasionally, until just tender (smaller apples will take about 5 minutes and larger apples up to 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Remove apples from poaching liquid and place in a covered dish in the refrigerator. Cool apples for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer the poaching liquid to a shallow pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil until liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

To make candied walnuts, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place walnuts in boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander. In a medium mixing bowl combine half of the powdered sugar with the walnuts. Toss well to coat.

Meanwhile, heat canola oil to 350ºF. Fry sugar-coated walnuts in oil until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Briefly drain walnuts and then toss again in remaining powdered sugar.

To make the apple cider vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, honey, and cider vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil while whisking, so the dressing emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

To assemble the salad, combine mesclun, endive, and sliced poached apples in a large salad bowl. Dress with apple cider vinaigrette. Serve salad topped with crumbled blue cheese and candied walnuts and drizzled with the reserved red wine reduction from the poached apple recipe.


8 servings