Shaved Heirloom Apple Salad with Sicilian Pistachio and Bacon Dressing

John Johnson

Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel New York

This is an exceptional appetizer. It can be dressed up and plated individually, or served on a large platter like an old fashioned Mille Feuille (Napoleon) on a platter. We chose the Cox’s Pippin Apple because it is a delicious eating apple that pairs well with many things. Sparkling cider or Cava are great pairings for this dish.

Shaved Heirloom Apple Salad with Sicilian Pistachio and Bacon Dressing

2 strips of peppered applewood-smoked bacon, cut into small dice
½ small shallot, minced
¼ tsp (1 ml) apple cider vinegar
½ tsp (2 ml) honey
1-½ tbsp (25 ml) pistachio oil
¼ sheet of phyllo dough
2 tbsp (30 ml) clarified butter
1 sprig of frisee lettuce (use only the tips and discard the stalks)
1 sprig of fresh tarragon, leaves only
4 medium Cox’s Orange Pippin Apples, skin on, shaved thinly on a mandoline (can use Cortland apples as a substitute)
2 to 3 slices of white pickled ginger, cut into julienne strips
1-½ tsp (7 ml) Sicilian pistachios
Salt, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Extra tarragon sprigs and sea salt for garnish

Method for the dressing:
1. In a medium sauté pan over low heat, render the bacon until crisp. Remove approximately half the fat, leaving the rest in the pan.
2. Add in the shallots, vinegar, honey and pistachio oil. Set aside to rest.

Method for the phyllo crisps:
1. Preheat a convection oven to about 325◦F (160◦C).
2. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the phyllo into rectangles of about 5 inches (12 cm) by 3 inches (7 cm).
2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the phyllo layer by layer, carefully brushing each with the clarified butter. Repeat for about six layers. Season evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Place the pan in the oven and bake until crisp and evenly golden brown.
4. Carefully remove from the oven. Set aside for use later.

Method for the salad:
1. Combine the frisee, tarragon, apples and ginger.
2. Lightly dress with a small amount of the dressing.
3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Gently toss to combine.

Method for assembling the dish:
1. Layer the salad, alternating with the phyllo layers.
2. Finish by drizzling the remaining dressing, and garnish with a few sprigs of tarragon and sea salt on top.


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