This is a salad that you see some version of on many a restaurant menu, and with good reason. It’s a tremendous mix of textures and flavors, and you can pretty much make it with whatever you have in the pantry. Ken’s favorite combination is tart apples with walnuts and Parmesan. I’m partial to pears or figs with Stilton and pecans in the winter, and nectarines with pistachios and goat cheese in the summer. See? It’s not a single recipe so much as a guideline for cobbling something wonderful together, almost effortlessly.

Ingredients

  • About 4 cups any tender lettuce: mâche, baby arugula, or a combination
  • ½ firm apple or pear or 1 stone fruit of your choice, thinly sliced, or 4 fresh figs, quartered
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sherry, white, or red wine vinegar, as needed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A crumble or good shaving of goat cheese, Stilton, feta, Parmesan, or any cheese you desire

Method

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, fruit, and nuts. Drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat everything, followed by a couple tablespoons of the vinegar of your choice. Sprinkle with some salt and a good grind of pepper, toss again, and add the cheese. That’s it.

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