Category: Salads

Apple Walnut Rye Salad

Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Happy first day of spring! Even though winter hasn’t been that bad, I am still hoping that a magical switch will get flipped turning on warm sunshine. A better selection of fruits and vegetables would be nice, too. I know I am asking for a bit much, and I should try to be more patient. I just can’t wait for May, when it really feels like spring.

For now, I am alternating between soup and salads depending on what coat I am wearing—puffy or trench—and my mood. With a surplus of my favorite kind of apple, the Pink Lady, I made this apple walnut rye salad. It was snappy, crispy, and I loved the toasty crumbs of rye bread along with scallions, chives and lime juice.
Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Apple Walnut Rye Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit September 2013

Serves 4

4 slices rye bread, torn into small pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 Pink Lady apples, cored and sliced into rings
1 ounce shaved white cheddar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced chives
juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the rye bread on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive, salt and pepper. Bake until light brown and toasted, about 12-15 minutes. In the last 6-8 minutes of cooking, add the walnuts to the sheet pan, baking until golden. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted rye bread, walnuts, apples, cheddar, scallions, parsley and chives. Toss in the lime juice and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Moroccan Kale Salad

Moroccan Kale Salad
When people get excited about kale, I think they are either trying to convince themselves it tastes good or just lying because isn’t everyone supposed to embrace dark leafy greens and all their magical health benefits? For me to enjoy kale, it has to be seriously doctored up with different flavors and textures to pretty much tone it down.

Inspired by surprisingly delicious takeout I had a few weeks ago, I made this Moroccan kale salad. With shredded carrots and grapefruit chunks, it was both sweet and tart, but that wasn’t it. I tossed in crispy chickpeas, goat cheese, chopped pistachios, scallions and mint. It all came together in a bright grapefruit cumin vinaigrette.
Moroccan Kale Salad
Moroccan Kale Salad

Serves 4

1-15 ounce can chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 grapefruit
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped salted roasted pistachios

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Pat them dry with paper towels and remove any loose outer skins. Place the chickpeas on a parchment-lined sheet pan and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until crisp and browned, gently shaking the pan about halfway through cooking.

Place the kale in a large bowl and massage with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Cut the peel and white pith from the grapefruit. Slice between the membranes removing the segments while collecting the juice in a bowl. Cut the segments into chunks. Whisk the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin into the juice.

Add the chickpeas, carrots, scallions, mint, goat cheese and pistachios to the kale and toss in the vinaigrette.

Apple Walnut Salad

Apple Walnut Salad
I’ve been oohing and aahing at all the fall fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, and right now I’m on a major apple kick that isn’t going to end anytime soon. From last week’s cinnamon-spiked muffins to my afternoon snack routine of apple slices smeared with peanut butter, I can’t get enough in red, yellow and green. Pink Lady apples, with their crisp, tangy bite, are my favorite.

I made an apple walnut salad with baby arugula & spinach, crumbled blue cheese and pomegranate. To get a good balance of salty and sweet, I candied the nuts in a warm skillet with maple syrup and tossed them with cinnamon, salt, pepper and chili powder for a little heat. I loved this crunchy salad and its mix of ingredients, and I am already thinking about what to do next with this year’s apple crop.
Apple Walnut Salad
Apple Walnut Salad

Serves 4

For vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For salad
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 ounces baby arugula & spinach mix
2 firm, crisp apples, cored and sliced thinly
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 whole pomegranate, seeded
2 tablespoons minced chives

For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until fully combined.

For the walnuts, place a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and pepper and toast for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the nuts to a parchment-lined plate to cool.

For the salad, combine the arugula & spinach, apples, blue cheese, pomegranate, chives and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette before serving.

Pumpkin Wild Rice Salad

Pumpkin Wild Rice Salad
Last weekend I got very excited about seeing fall veggies at the farmers market. I love cinnamon, anything spiced and crisp days, so it’s nearly impossible for me to contain myself when gearing up for fall. I left the market with a tiny but weighty pie pumpkin in my bag. Even though I had no immediate plans for it, I figured I had time to let that pumpkin decorate my kitchen counter before I turned it into a meal.

That was until my toddler, who shares my enthusiasm for autumn, tossed the little pumpkin. With a big thud on the floor, the stem was gone on impact. I needed to use it ASAP, so I decided to embrace early fall by making a wild rice pumpkin salad with apples, spinach, blue cheese and pecans tossed in a maple vinaigrette. Both salty and sweet, this salad is just the beginning of all the seasonal flavors ahead.
Pumpkin Wild Rice Salad
Pumpkin Wild Rice Salad

Serves 4

1/2 cup wild rice
2/3 cup water
1 small pie pumpkin (about 2-3 pounds)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 crisp apple, cored and diced
1 generous handful baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the rice and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30-35 minutes until the rice is tender and cooked through.

Cut the top off the pumpkin and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and cut into 2-inch-wide wedges. Toss the wedges in 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Arrange on a sheet pan, skin side down. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting the flesh of each wedge into cubes and removing the skin.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic and the remaining salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, pumpkin, apples, spinach, chives, blue cheese and pecans and toss in the vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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