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Citrus's Warm Brie Salad With Walnut Vinaigrette

For the brie:

8 oz. brie cheese
2 sheets phyllo dough
1 egg, beaten

For the vinaigrette:
1 egg yolk or 1 T. prepared mayonnaise (see note)
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. white wine or champagne vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. walnut oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C. peanut oil

For the salad:
4 C. curly endive or other greens, washed, rinsed, dried and torn in bite-size pieces
1/2 C. chopped walnuts, toasted

Cut brie in 1/2-inch-by-4-inch pieces. Cut the phyllo dough sheets in half crosswise. Work with 1/2 sheet of phyllo dough at a time (keep the others covered with a damp towel until needed). The shorter sides of the 1/2 sheet of phyllo will be the top and bottom. Place a piece of brie about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge. Turn the bottom edge over the brie and roll two times. Now fold the sides over the ends of the brie. Brush the beaten egg on the upper 2 inches of the phyllo. Continue rolling, pressing the final edge to seal. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet with the seam up, cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator until ready to fry.

Prepare the vinaigrette by placing an egg yolk or the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add the mustard and whisk to combine. Add the vinegar in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Do the same with the olive oil, and then the walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a medium frying pan, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Fry the brie until the phyllo is golden brown, turning to brown both sides. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Cook no more than 4 brie slices at a time. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Keep brie warm while you quickly toss the endive or other greens in the vinaigrette.

Divide greens among individual plates. Place one brie/phyllo slice on top of each plate and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Michel Richard, chef of Citrus in Los Angeles and Citronelle in Washington, created this salad. It can be doubled or halved easily. It's important for the brie to be cold when rolling it in the phyllo dough and frying.

Note: Raw eggs may pose a health hazard. If you are concerned, use a pasteurized yolk or prepared mayonnaise.



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