This is adapted from one of our favorite cheese-centric cookbooks: The Cheesemonger's Kitchen by Chester Hastings. We like the texture and tanginess of the fresh goat cheese better. And, of course, we are in LOVE for real with the Hazelnuts from Piedmont.
- 1 medium bunch celery
- 1/2 lemon, plus 1/4 cup freshly squeszed lemon juice
- 2 large, crisp apples, we love the honeycrisp
- 4 tsp local honey
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 4 oz fresh, Haystack Mountain Chevre, crumbled
- 3/4 cup Piedmontese Hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the celery well. Pull away the outer stalks to get to the pale, green interior stalks - save the outer stalks for soups or stocks. Separate the interior stalks, leaves intact, and slice on an angle about 1/8 inch thick.
Fill a medium mixing bowl with cold water. Squeeze the half lemon into the water to acidulate it. This will prevent the apples from oxidizing.
Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place the apple slices directly into the lemon water as you cut them.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice and shallot. Dry the apple slices on a clean kitchen towel.
Place the celery and apple in a mixing bowl. Add the hazelnuts and the honey/olive oil dressing. Season with pepper and taste for salt. After you put it in your serving bowl, top with the crumbled goat cheese.