Monday, October 5, 2009

Salad with Sauteed Apples and Cranberry Vinaigrette

When people are on restrictive diets, they often think with chagrin of all the salads they will have to eat. I have no pity for these people. With a little creativity, a salad is far from boring. If you add an ingredient or two that is just slightly naughty, in fact, a salad can taste quite decadent.

This salad features some beautiful fall flavors. It gives your mouth a bounty of textures to explore, and a fabulous contrast of sweet and savory. It takes those mopey dieters and gives them something to smile about.

The cranberry dressing is tangy and yet sweet at the same time. I'll have to make a mental note to use this one again in the future. Usually fruit salad dressings are not my thing, but this one is a notable exception.

Salad with Sauteed Apples and Cranberry Vinaigrette
adapted from Stonewall Kitchen Harvest
serves 2


the vinaigrette:
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dried cranberries

the salad:
1 small Macintosh or Jonagold apple
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 cups baby greens of choice
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese


1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake, or whisk them together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until remaining ingredients are ready.

2. Cut the apple into 8 wedges, removing the core. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the apple wedges, flesh side down. Saute for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned and tender. Remove apples from skillet with tongs or a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low.

3. Add the slivered almonds to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet to a paper towel.

4. Assemble the salad: Divide the greens among serving plates. Top with apple wedges, nuts, and blue cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Serve.


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