Sunday, November 20, 2011

Autumn Salad

Sometimes you really just want a salad.
Ok, so maybe "you" don't depending on who you are...

But sometimes, especially if you (for one reason or another) haven't had fresh greens for a while, it's what you crave. 

Interesting salads also fill a need when you want something light but not boring. 
Of course, salad can be a starter. However, this (to me) is one of those salads you could make a meal out of- it's a "this is just great as my whole lunch" salad- all you have to do is adjust the amounts as necessary.

There's so much variety in it, there's color and texture, sweetness and zing.
It's an action salad.  They do exist (of course).

The recipe for cider vinaigrette is adapted from Gourmet, October 2007.

It works well both with apple cider vinegar and balsamic apple vinegar. Balsamic apple vinegar can be found at Vom Fass. It may exist elsewhere, but I don't know where that might be. If you'll be using apple cider vinegar and are able to plan ahead, I think Bragg is a good brand.

Cider Vinaigrette
makes about 1 c vinaigrette, enough for about 8-10 salads

1 1/2 c unfiltered apple cider
3 T finely minced shallot
3 T apple cider vinegar
3 t grainy mustard
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c olive oil

Place the cider in a small saucepan and bring to a  boil over medium heat.
Continue cooking until the cider is reduced to about 1/3 c, about 30-35 minutes.
Once the cider has reduced and become thick and syrupy, remove the pan from the heat, let it
cool for a minute and add shallots to warm cider. Let the cider cool until the pan is warm to the
touch, add the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the olive oil in a slow,
steady stream to the cider mixture, whisking constantly to emulsify.

For 8-10 salads:
10-15 oz. mixed spring greens or a baby spinach and spring green mix
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 crisp, juicy apples (such as Fuji, Gala, or Jonagold), cut into small pieces
2/3 c dried cranberries
2/3 c toasted walnuts, cooled and chopped
8 oz chèvre, crumbled with a fork

Divide the greens between salad plates. Drizzle each salad with 1 1/2-2 T of the cider vinaigrette.
Sprinkle salads with green onion and apple, cranberries and walnuts. Finish each salad with a
snowy cap of chèvre.
Serve immediately (remember that greens start to wilt once they've been splashed with

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