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Whipped Brie Salad with Dates and Candied Walnuts

Lovely as a starter course for a dinner party, this delicious salad may be prepped ahead of time, and then assembled quite easily at serving time. Be sure you find a triple crème Brie to use for this recipe — many GoodFood taster comments noted that there can be some difficulty in ‘whipping’ the Brie, but we find that the creaminess of the triple crème Brie serves us quite well in achieving just the right results!

Whipped Brie Salad with Dates and Candied Walnuts

For the candied walnuts

4 oz. walnuts, halved (generous cup)
1 oz. caster (superfine white) sugar (2 tbs.)

For the salad

20 oz. triple crème Brie
3 oz. pitted dates, cut into small pieces
4 oz. arugula
4 oz. shop-bought croutons, crumbled (about 2 cups)

For the dressing

6 tbs. walnut oil
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 375°F. Shake the walnut pieces in 2 tbs. water, then toss in the sugar. Scatter over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (Store in an airtight container if prepped the day before serving.)

Carefully peel the rind off the Brie and discard. Put the gooey inside in a medium-sized bowl. Using a large metal spoon, ‘whip’ the Brie until smooth and spoonable. To make the dressing, whisk the oil and vinegar together, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Hold whipped Brie and dressing in the refrigerator if prepping a day ahead. Remove from fridge half hour before serving.)

In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, dates, and arugula, then mix with some of the dressing. Place a spoonful of the whipped Brie on each plate and arrange the salad around it. Scatter over the croutons and drizzle with a little extra dressing. Serves 6-8.

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