Posts Tagged With: salad

Fall Apple Salad

The hubby’s side of the family gets together every month for family dinner — usually on Sunday. The cousins run around, play, and argue with each other while the grown ups drink wine and catch up. It’s a pretty nice ritual to have in your life and we’re lucky that the boy (single child that he is) has so many cousins nearby.

What we eat varies but we have started to settle into a routine re: who brings what. My sistah-in-law seems to be staking out desserts and they have been darn good. (Must get on Pinterest.) I started bringing salad awhile back and that is now kind of my thing. I think in a previous post I referred to myself as the salad ninja — which sounds like a game my son would play on his iPhone, come to think of it. The challenge is that twelve salads a year (give or take) means you have to get creative or risk boring everyone. Usually, I just look for whatever is in season at the store and go from there. Right now, my produce obsession is Honeycrisp apples. So that is where I started…

Fall Apple Salad (serves 6-8 as a side)


  • 1 large honeycrisp or other sweet apple
  • 5 oz package pre-washed salad greens (I like half & half)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced or diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts or pecans if you like)


Fill a small bowl with cold water and squeeze in juice from half a large lemon (or one whole small lemon.)

Lemon bath

Quarter, core and dice your apple and place it in the lemon water. This little bath with keep your apple from getting brown.

Fall Apple Salad

After a few minutes, drain your apples and pat them dry with a paper towel. Layer your salad greens in your bowl and top with sliced onion, crumbled goat cheese, and apples. Grind a little fresh black pepper on top.

Fall Apple Salad

You can also sprinkle the nuts on at this point — I left mine on the side initially due to some nut allergies in the fam. Never good to give someone anaphylactic shock at family dinner. Now, you will want a dressing. You can use a bottled dressing — something light and fruity would be good — but I like to make my own. I used some fancy ingredients from Oil & Vinegar but, recognizing you may not have these on hand, I’ve also given you a foolproof Ina Garten dressing.

Cherry-Lime Vinaigrette 

Whisk together the following ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp lime-flavored grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp cherry balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chocolate balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste

Barefoot Contessa Vinaigrette

(adapted slightly from Ina Garten’s Cape Cod Chopped Salad recipe)

Whisk together the following ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons good apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil

No pictures of the plated salad, I’m afraid… Too much wine, too little motivation to take out my phone and snap a picture. Given how fast it disappeared, I think it was a hit.

Categories: Brunch, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Fresh Fig Salad

Like many of you, my first experience (and for a long time, my only experience) eating figs was in the highly-processed form of Fig Newtons. I’m not slamming Fig Newtons — they are pretty tasty — but I have developed a real love for fresh figs. This love was encouraged by my dad. He has been known to scout out fig bushes in his small town so he can sneak a few when they are in season. Luckily, one is near a local museum where he volunteers and — since figs are not a universally-admired fruit — no one minds him taking a few. One time I showed up for a visit and the first thing he said to me was, “I have some fresh figs and good blue cheese for us to eat!” We may have done a little mutual happy dance.

Friends, fresh figs that are perfectly ripe are a beautiful and fleeting thing. Right now they are showing up in my local grocery store — mostly black mission and brown turkey figs. So, when I saw them, I knew I had to make a fig salad. This is the yumminess that ensued…

Fig Salad (serves 2 as a large side)

  • Throw two big handfuls of greens in your salad bowl. (This time I went with mixed butter lettuces.)
  • Depending on fig size or your preference, cut 4-5 figs into either quarters or eighths.
  • Sprinkle with 1-2 ounces fresh goat cheese ( you can also use blue cheese — my hubby is not as big a fan as I am)
  • You can also throw in nuts — candied nuts, especially pecans, are a great addition. This was a weekday salad for me, so I kept it simple.
  • Grind some pepper on top.
  • Now, just whip up your easy salad dressing. I used 1 tbsp each fig jam, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. If you don’t have fig jam, you could use honey or brown sugar. Drizzle on top.

Fresh Fig Salad

If you use bagged greens, you have a delicious side salad in about 5 minutes. And then you can focus on the eatin!

Fresh Fig Salad

Categories: Brunch, Recipes, Salads, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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