The fact is I make a lot of desserts around here and while I can usually control myself and take just a bite or two, I'm always on the lookout for ways to keep myself (and my crew) eating healthy so we can counteract the guilt of the goodies. And when you taste salads like this one, filled with the sweetness of apples, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries and toasted almonds, all coated in a slightly sweet apple cider vinegar dressing, I don't think you'll feel in any way deprived. In fact, I'm going to go all crazy on you and throw out the idea that you might actually start craving these more than the amazingly chewy sugar cookies I'm going to post tomorrow--just sayin', it could happen!
Are you an adventurous salad eater, always trying new and different greens and dressings? Wish I were! In reality, my salad days are kind of boring--I stick to the same ingredients pretty much day in, day out, complete with the same simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Don't get me wrong--I'm not complaining--I actually love my homemade ones more than probably any salad I buy when I'm out, but sometimes it's nice to have a little change. If you're feeling that "salad rut" too, I this lovely and easy-to-make seasonal variation will definitely hit the spot. It's not only healthy, versatile and extremely colorful but another good way to use up an apple (we're almost through with our eating apples bag--only about a dozen more baking apples left to go--I'm really going to have to get on that). The whole thing comes together in about 10 minutes and will jazz up even the simplest of meals. And considering that we've strangely returned to summer here on the East Coast, a nice light dinner is just what the season (whatever it might be) ordered!!
Autumn Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes
For the Salad
- 1 large crisp apple
- Fresh lemon juice
- 5-6 ounce bag of baby arugula (or any kind of lettuce you prefer)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Feta, parmesan, goat cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
1. Cut the apple into quarters and core it. Then slice the quarters thinly. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning and set aside.
2. Place all the salad ingredients in the bowl, arranging the apples on top.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad in the bowl and toss together. Serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers. I toyed around with ingredients and proportions.