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Playing Curtis Stone’s Frisee and Apple Salad with Ale Vinaigrette and Rye Croutes

“It’s safe to say that I came up with this dish when I was kicking back and enjoying a beer. I popped the cap off a bottle of rye ale that tasted sour and a bit funky, but in a really good way. With its tangy acidity and deep flavor, I had an itching suspicion that it would be good in a vinaigrette. I’m partial to The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye ale, since it has a great tartness, not to mention that it’s pretty darn exquisite, but choose whichever rye beer you like. Croûtes are small rustic rounds of toasted bread with a savory topping and here, I toast them with cheese quickly at a high temperature, which makes them crisp and delicate.


For the Croûtes
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 slices rye bread, 1/4-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
For the salad
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons sour rye ale (such as The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye ale) or other sour beer
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 heads frisée lettuce, white parts only (about 6 cups)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into matchstick-size strips


Serves: 6


To make the croûtes, preheat the oven to 450°F.
Spread the butter thinly over both sizes of the slices of bread and lay the bread on a baking sheet.  Top each slice with 2 tablespoons of cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, or just until the bread is crisp on the outside and the cheese is bubbling.

Meanwhile, to make the salad, in a large bowl, whisk the shallots, ale, vinegar and mustard to blend.  Gradually whisk in the oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the frisée and apple and toss to coat.  Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.
Divide the salad among plates and serve with the warm croûtes alongside. (The salad is best when it is just made and the croûtes are still hot.)


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