Gougères and Winter Green Salad with Apples and Cheese

Odessa serves these cheese puffs with a salad of winter greens, but gougères are also ideal to offer for a snack with drinks. They can be filled with leftovers and used to make large finger sandwiches as well.

Blended with mashed potatoes, this paste makes gnocchi. When mixed with fish or chicken puree, the same paste becomes a mousse or quenelles. And when sweetened (and the cheese omitted), it makes the puffs for éclairs.

Odessa makes sure the eggs are warm by putting them in a couple of consecutive baths of warm water. She uses Stravicchio cheese, but you can substitute grated imported Swiss, such as Gruyère or Emmenthaler or a mixture of Swiss and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Gougères
  • 4 cups mixed baby lettuces, herbs, and greens, loosely packed
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, minced, and crushed to a paste
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tablespoons light extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh walnut oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped toasted, skinned hazelnuts
  • 2 apples, preferably orange Cox pippin, peeled, cored, quartered, very thinly sliced
  • ¼ pound Pleasant Ridge Reserve Wisconsin Beaufort-style cheese, rind removed, or Gruyère or Emmenthaler

Method

Make the Gougères as described in the recipe that follows and set aside. Rinse and dry the greens for the salad.

To make the salad dressing, mix the shallot, the vinegar, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk in the olive and walnut oils. Mix in the chopped hazelnuts and sliced apple.

Put the mixed greens in a bowl and pour on the dressing. Toss gently but completely. Place the dressed salad into the gougeres, letting some slip out onto the plate. Slice the cheese with a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler over the top of the salad and onto the plate. Dust with a grinding of pepper and serve.

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