Apples and cheese, especially cheddar cheese, are a classic combination. Cheddar-topped apple pie is great, a perfect complement of sweet and savory. This apple and cheese salad is more of a meal, a light meal, than a side, though it could be a nice side for a roast pork dish. A sharp, crumbly cheddar is ideal here, but go with any hard cheese you fancy or have on hand.
4 c or so lettuce or other salad-type greens, coarsely chopped
2 large or 4 smaller apples
1 – 2 T oil (peanut or walnut oil is really good, as are other, milder oils)
1/4 c walnuts, pine nuts, or pecans
1 c crumbled or shredded cheddar cheese
2 T lemon juice
ground black pepper, to taste
1. Divide the greens among 4 salad plates, or arrange on a serving platter or in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
2. Cut apples into quarters and core. Cut each quarter in half so that you have 8 pieces from each apple. Or, cut apple in half, core, and cut thick half-moon slices.
3. Heat oil in a skillet. Add apples and walnuts. Sauté for about 4 minutes, gently turning apple slices over once. Remove apples from pan and quickly place on greens. Distribute the cheese over the apples–the cheese will not melt, but rather soften from the heat of the apples.
4. Pour the lemon juice into the pan and swirl it about. Drizzle the pan juices evenly over the salad(s). Season with black pepper and serve.