Posted January 11, 2007on:
this recipe works very well, it kicks many expensive restaurants’ asses that I know around here. It’s a bit painstaking but I guess you can always make candied walnuts in place of caramelized walnuts to save time.
ingredients for salad:
1 bunch of mizuna
1 small crisp and slightly tart apple (pink lady or jazz is best, if not, try a ripe grannysmith) (sliced thin)
2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese (I use the one from Trader Joe’s, it’s very good)
~ 2 handfuls raw walnuts plus the following ingredients for caramelized spiced walnut recipe:
3 tbsp honey (i use sage honey)
1 tbsp sugar (i use turbino, you can use granulated)
1/8 tsp salt
pinch of 5 spices powder
pinch of cayenne pepper powder
ingredients for ginger vinaigrette:
1 piece of ginger about 1″x1.5″ peeled
2 pieces of shallots (if big clove, use 1)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (i used the sushi rice vinegar)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 or 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper
to make the caramelized spiced walnut, bring 2 quarts of water to boil, add walnuts, boil for 5-7 minutes, drain, set a side.
melt sugar in a small pot, then add honey, molasses, and salt. When this starts to bubble, toss in walnuts and stir so that the sugar will coat evenly. Add a pinch of 5-spices and cayenne peper. Stir continuously over medium heat until the liquid reduce and everything turn light brown. Turn off fire, carefully put each individual piece of walnut onto waxed paper on a tray, separate from each other. Put this whole tray into the freezer to cool (this process takes about 15 minutes)
while waiting for walnut to cool, start on the dressing:
combine shallot, ginger, and soysauce in a food processor or food chopper, mince, then sift through a sieve to collect the juice. Discard the pulp. Combine the rest of the ingredients with the collected juice into a blender or simply whisk everything until well-mixed. Your dressing should turn mustardy yellow.
Place mizuna into a bowl, arrange apple slices on top, then add walnut. Microwave the dressing for 10 seconds, then add to salad. Sprinkle blue cheese on top last, and serve immediately. If you like you can add a few strands of red onion to garnish, but not neccessary.
The blue cheese really brings out the light and fresh flavor of ginger. Mizuna works very well with this dressing. This dressing is taken from the recipe submitted by Julesong here, modified a bit by me.