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Stayman Apple Salad with Grayson Cheese and Hickory Smoked Bacon

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Ingredients

8-12 shallots, small

Butter

Salt and pepper to taste

8 pieces hickory smoked bacon (I use Edwards Peppered Bacon)

6 ounces arugula, stems picked off, washed (I use Powhatan Field)

2 Stayman apples, cut into matchsticks, coated in a bit of lemon juice

Lemon-white balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

4 quarter-inch slices Grayson cheese (I use Meadow Creek Dairy), about 1 ounce each, cut into triangles

Sorghum molasses for finishing (I use Compass Winds) Marigold petals for garnish

Lemon-White Balsamic Vinaigrette

10 lemons, juiced

White balsamic vinegar (same amount as lemon juice)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup honey (I use my own rooftop honey)

3 shallots, small

1 clove garlic

Grapeseed oil (twice the amount of the lemon-vinegar mixture)

¼ cup fines herbes (chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon)

Directions

  1. In a 300-degree oven, slow roast the shallots with a bit of butter and salt and pepper for about 20 minutes until golden brown and soft. After roasting, julienne the shallots.
  2. While the shallots are roasting, cook the bacon until crisp, drain, and cut into  ½-inch pieces.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the arugula, apples, and shallots together with some of the lemon-white balsamic vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 4 plates.
  4. Place the Grayson cheese and bacon evenly amongst the plates.
  5. Drizzle some sorghum molasses around each salad. Garnish with marigold flowers.

For Lemon-White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Juice the lemons and add equal part white balsamic vinegar.
  2. Add the mustard, honey, shallots, and garlic.
  3. In a blender (I prefer Vitamix), begin slowly blending the grapeseed oil into the lemon-vinegar mixture.
  4. After the vinaigrette is emulsified, stir in herbs.

DO NOT BLEND or it will turn green.

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