"The salad is about building layers of textures and flavours – the combination of apple and salty cheese works perfectly," says Musarra. "You could easily swap the pistachio nuts for lightly roasted hazelnuts or almonds."
Pictured here with Agostino's mushroom tortelloni with buffalo ricotta.
- 180 gm Taleggio di Grotta (see note), rind removed, brought to room temperature
- 80 gm mascarpone
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chardonnay vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 120 gm roasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
- 6 small red or yellow witlof, leaves separated
- 1 bunch curly endive, trimmed
- 100 gm Montasio (see note) or ricotta salata
- 1Mash the Taleggio and mascarpone together until smooth. Season to taste.
- 2Core and slice apple into thin rounds, then cut in half and toss with 2 tsp lemon juice. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil and remaining lemon juice and season to taste.
- 3Divide Taleggio mixture among bowls, then spoon over half the dressing. Sprinkle over half the pistachio, then top with half the apple. Place endive and witlof on top. Top with the remaining apple, then remaining dressing and pistachio. Shave Montasio over, season to taste and serve.
Montasio is a hard cow's-milk cheese from the Friuli region north of Venice. It, and Taleggio di Grotta, are available from select delicatessens.
Wine suggestion: 2012 La Castellada Pinot Grigio, Friuli. Wine suggestion by James Tait