Apple goat cheese tower with an apple cider reduction
1 bunch watercress
3 Belgium endive
3 Gala apples
8 oz goat cheese
6 oz walnut pieces
2 oz butter melted unsalted
2 cups apple cider
salt & pepper to taste
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
Cut watercress stalks off just where the leaves begin. Discard stalks. Wash and spin watercress until it’s fluffy and dry. Set aside.
Remove the first inch off the base of the endive and discard. Pull spears apart leaving them whole and set aside.
Place the cider into a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce on med- high heat to 4 oz of liquid skimming away any impurities. Place into a bowl and add olive oil and seasoning.
Core the apples with an apple corer. Using a mandolin, slice the apples with the skins on into 2/8th inch slices parallel to the core.
Grill for 1 minute only, then turn over and cook 1 minute longer. Place the slices onto a dinner plate to hold. Brush each slice with a little bit of butter, 1 side only.
To build a tower, place 1 apple slice onto parchment paper to form 6 bases.
With your fingers place approx. 2 tsp of goat cheese into the centre of the apple. Top with another slice followed with more cheese to form a second layer and then finally the last layer and a bit more cheese on top with a few walnuts pressed into the cheese.
Place the apple towers into a 400 degree oven for 5-6 minutes just to warm. Remove and place onto individual plates. Scatter some of the endive and watercress around the tower decoratively then drizzle some of the dressing over top of everything. Scatter a few more walnuts and serve.
This one’s finicky but all the heavy lifting can be done ahead of time ( assembling the towers and the cider reduction). The effort’s worth it. You can also do this with pears or any type of apple other than Macintosh. The cider reduction brings everything together. It’s important to use the best quality cider you can find to make this recipe really sing.