Salad of Apples, Coolea Cheese, Hazelnuts, Sprouts & Apple Syrup
This is a lovely combination of ingredients that delivers a very fresh tasting and delicious salad.
In another meal it would be lovely served along side grilled or roast pork. I search out Irish home grown apples and I use an apple syrup from the marvellous High Bank farm in Co Kilkenny. The Coolea cheese is from Macroom in Co Cork and is another outstanding example of the quality of some of the artisan food being produced in Ireland now.
I have added myrtle berries as an optional ingredient here. If you do not have them growing as most people will not, the salad is still great without them. However the berries which come from the shrub,Myrtus Ugni, are really delicious and the plant which is pretty much maintenance free will grow in a large pot or directly in the ground.It is evergreen with small and pretty glossy leaves and produces sweet little red berries late in the year when virtually all other fruit have disappeared for the winter. I use the berries in starters,main courses and desserts and would not be without it. I highly recommend it as a beautiful thing to look at and a beautiful thing toeat and in my experience it is pretty much the least trouble some plant in the garden. It fruits year after year.
4tablespoons olive oil
Juiceof 1 Lemon
2teaspoons apple syrup
Seasalt and freshly ground pepper
8 brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced on a mandolin or by hand
1 dessert apple, cut into quarters, core removed and cut by hand into5mm slices
25g hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped
8- 12 leaves of radicchio
8– 12 sprigs of watercress
20 shavings of coolea cheese
24– 32 Myrtle Berries optional
Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and taste and correct seasoning.
Combine the brusells sprouts, apples, hazelnuts, radicchio and watercress in a large bowl. Give the dressing a good shake and pour over the ingredients. Use your hands to lightly lift and toss the salad.
Place in a mound on a large wide serving dish. Scatter shavings of coolea over the salad and thread a few through the leaves as well. Add the myrtle berries now if using. Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper over the entire salad and serve as soon as possible