I LOVE salads. I am not talking about a-lettuce-leaf-topped-with-a-few-carrots-no-croutons-and-dressing-on-the-side-salads. I am talking about salads filled with lots personality and unexpected flavors. Paired with crackers or a baguette, these salads are real meals in and of themselves (even for my 6’2″ husband!) or as a fantastic side to grilled meat. Here is one of my more recent salad concoctions.
Apple, Goat Cheese, and Sesame Honey Almond Salad with Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the salad
- 6-8 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup of chopped sesame honey almonds (available at Trader Joe’s)
- 4 oz of crumbled goat cheese
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 apple, diced
For the dressing
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup of red apple vinegar* (like this one here)
- 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil
- Dash of kosher salt
- Optional: 1 teaspoon of minced shallot. It provides an added layer of flavor and cuts the sweetness of the salad.
Combine all ingredients of the salad into a large bowl. For the dressing, combine the dijon mustard, vinegar, and shallots (if using) into a small bowl. Whisk together while slowly adding the oil. Whisk until fully combined.
*To make flavored vinegars last longer, you can substitute part of the amount with plain balsamic. For example, in this salad you can use 1/8 red apple vinegar and 1/8 regular balsamic. This is also a good tactic if you find the salad is too sweet. Just be sure to match up like kinds: use white balsamic for lighter flavored vinegars and use dark balsamic only for richer flavored vinegars.