Apples and cheese have been best friends for a very long time. This salad takes advantage of the pairing by combining the two amigos in a way in which it is difficult to tell the difference between the color and texture until both are delightfully in your mouth. Honeycrisp apples are juicy and sweet and perfect for biting into raw. If you can wait, this salad might just win you power and influence among your food loving friends. It is particularly gorgeous nestled like a birds nest on a Boston lettuce leaf.
- Slice apples with a hand held mandolin. When near the center, turn the apple over and slice the other side to the center. Toss out core. Stack and cut apple slices into matchsticks—be careful to remove any core or seed from center.
- Slice the rind off of the Manchego cheese wedge. Slice cheese on mandolin (it will come out in triangles). Cut triangles into matchsticks.
- Combine the apple and cheese matchsticks by gently lifting and tossing together.
- Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil to lightly dress the fruit and cheese.
- With a pair of kitchen sheers, snip chives onto salad and generously season with freshly ground-cracked black pepper.
- Toss gently with fingers one more time. Serve within 2 to 3 hours.
This salad may be made without a mandolin. Just take time to slice uniformly and thinly. The important thing is that the apples and the cheese look identical. Generously grind the pepper and snip the chives to get depth of flavor in this limited ingredient plate.