Does this salad look like Christmas or what?! It’s certainly festive enough and more importantly, easy enough to add to any special meal (or just any weeknight no-time-to-cook-dinner). As soon as I took my first bite, I knew I’d found the First Course for my Thanksgiving Day table. The mix of julienned apples, pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds and blue cheese topped on mixed greens reminds me of an updated Waldorf Salad.
The dressing is a nice balance of sweet and tart that blends together in no time, and really… apple cider, vinegar, mustard, real maple syrup and cinnamon?! I wanted to drink it.
You can trust me on this one. It’s sure to impress everyone at the table. And wouldn’t this be perfect as part of a romantic dinner for two?
- For the dressing:
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons honey mustard
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon very finely grated onion
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup salad oil (I used grape seed oil, which is nice and light. You may use canola or olive oil, but the flavor will be slightly heavier.)
- For the salad:
- 5-6 ounces (weight) salad greens (I used a mix of baby greens and a head of red leaf lettuce), rinsed and patted or spun dry
- 1 red apple, cored and julienned (I prefer honey crisp, fuji, or gala)
- ½ cup pomegranate arils (can substitute with dried cherries, dried cranberries, or currants)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (can substitute with slivered almonds, walnut or pecan pieces, or sunflower seeds)
- blue cheese crumbles, or cheese of preference
- prepared orange juice for keeping the julienned apples from turning brown
- For the Dressing:
- Whisk together, or whirl in a blender, all ingredients EXCEPT the oil.
- Slowly drizzle oil into ingredients while whisking briskly or whirling in blender.
- Cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for at least an hour to let flavors develop. Makes 1⅓ cups dressing.
- For the Salad:
- Toss julienned apples in a little orange juice to keep them from turning brown. Drain well.
- Divide greens between four salad plates. Top with apples, pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds, and blue cheese crumbles.
- Alternatively, you can toss everything together in a big salad bowl. It just won't look as pretty.
- Allow each guest to top salad with salad dressing. Store left-over dressing in refrigerator for up to three days.