It's apple season! I love being able to get fresh apples. Not the almost crispy ones they sell in the stores in June, the ones that are truly crisp and juicy and you just know they were picked that day. Yum! Not far from our home there's a place called Lilly Orchard. Now, when I was a kid it was really an orchard. Then, an exclusive private school bought the land and built, yup, a school. They kept the apple store though I'm not certain where they get all of the apples. We stopped there on the way home from a funeral. I had every intention of making a waldorf salad.
Then, as usual, fate intervened. My celery was at work so a waldorf salad was out of the question. Just that day I'd seen a salad on Annie's Eats. It had apples in it. But, it didn't sound like something I wanted to make right then. But, MomChef's pasta sauce was going to be quick and I needed a quick salad that used apples. And, I had all the ingredients. There you go. Fate.
What did we think? Well, you'll get the idea if I tell you we made the same salad again the next night. And, if I'd had more apples we'd have made it a third time. YUM! I changed out Annie's feta cheese for blue cheese. We love both but I wanted blue... The almonds were so good that Connie's asked if I can make them just for snacking. And, the best thing - Connie's not a huge fan of fruit but he loved this. If you'd like to see the original salad, here's a link to the recipe on Annie's site. While you're there, I hope you'll wander around and get some more wonderful ideas like I do.
Harvest Apple Salad
For the dressing:
¼ c finely minced sweet onion
3 T red wine vinegar (I was out of cider which the original recipe called for)
3 T white wine or champagne vinegar
2 T sesame seeds
Pinch of paprika
2 T sugar
½ c extra virgin olive oil
For the almonds:
2 T unsalted butter
¾ c sliced or slivered almonds
1 T sugar
For the salad:
10 oz. baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
2 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
Whisk all the dressing ingredients except for the oil together.
Pour the oil in in a steady stream, whisking as you pour.
For the almonds, heat the butter in a small skillet. When it's melted, add the almonds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the almonds have browned nicely. Sprinkle the sugar over the almonds and stir, stir, stir. When you've got a nice caramel glaze on the almonds, remove them from the heat and put them on a plate to cool.
To put the salads together, mound some spinach on each salad plate. Top it with sliced apples.
Then, drizzle some dressing over the salads.
Top them with the crumbled blue cheese and the almonds.
adapted from Annie's Eats