Arugula Salad with Kiwis, Hazelnuts and Warm Manouri Cheese
I wanted to find a way to incorporate one of the region's most important fruits, the kiwi, into a savory dish. I've seen it used for its acidic qualities in some unusual places, such as in lieu of lemon in fish soups. This salad makes a lovely, refreshing starter to the many heartier dishes that follow in this chapter.
- 4 Tbs. hazelnuts
- 4 cups fresh arugula, trimmed and torn into large pieces
- 1 large onion, very thinly sliced
- 4 kiwis, peeled and cut into thin oval slices
- 2 2-cm (3/4-inch) thick rounds of manouri cheese
- For the Dressing
- 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. northern Greek balsamic vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
- 2 tsp. northern Greek honey
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Paprika for garnish
In a dry, nonstick skillet, lightly toast the hazelnuts over medium heat. Remove and
set aside. Toss the arugula and onions together.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Wipe the skillet clean, brush with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Heat over medium flame. Place the first manouri round in the skillet and toast until lightly browned around the edges. Flip to brown lightly on the other side, too. Remove with a spatula to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with next slice. Place the salad on individual plates, pressing the mixture lightly into a ring mold in the center of four plates.
Cut each manouri slice into four pieces and place two on top of each salad. Garnish the salad all around with kiwi slices. Pour over remaining dressing and sprinkle the plate with a little paprika. Serve. A white Roditis full of freshness and flavor beautifully accompanies the aromas and pleasant tartness of this salad.