Yep. My first recipe of the year is the requisite salad. BUT my reasons for that are beyond the fact that it's "Get Your Life and Diet Together " month. I personally don't resolve to eat healthier this year. I've thankfully got that down and things are on track in that department. However, I do often get bored with healthy food and tend to make the same things over and over, so this year I want to diversify my stash of healthy meals. And I want to host a few dinner parties/brunches. And I want to sharpen my food styling skills. So this post for me is my way of working on all of those things together. This post for you is a way of showing you a menu item that looks really pretty and would take you 10 minutes to prepare just in case your goals are similar to mine... :)
Dinner parties should be underwhelming and fun and this salad is definitely those two things. It has the simplest combination of ingredients that go so very well together. The crunch and freshness of the apples pair incredibly well the creaminess of the cheese. The amazing apple cider vinaigrette is really what brings it all together. It's homemade, takes 2 seconds to make, and it's sweet and tart all in one. And isn't the salad pretty??!! I served it with some homemade cheddar biscuits that I will tell you all about soon, so stay tuned!
Here is what you need and what to do (makes 2 salads):
2 apples (I used Red Delicious)
2 big handfuls of arugula
Shavings of Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Walnuts, chopped or whole
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Add all of the ingredients for the dressing into a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
2. Use a sharp knife or a mandolin (I used this one) to cut the apples into 1/8in slices. Squeeze some lemon juice over the tops and bottoms of each slice to keep it from turning brown. The lemon juice also adds great flavor, too! Place a handful of arugula on to each plate. Stack a few slices of apple on the middle of the salad. Sprinkle the salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and a few walnuts. Pour a few spoonfuls of dressing right over the top.
Images by me