I don’t know if you knew, but fall is the best season ever. What’s not to love? Beautiful colors, crisp air, hoodies, comfort food…
And apples. They’re really not that exciting, but somehow fall makes apples seem like the most novel food. Suddenly, the neglected fruit bowl occupant becomes a vehicle for caramel, a filling for pies, and my new favorite: a topping for salads.
Oh, yes. What you see here is a lovely combination of toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and crisp romaine lettuce, but that’s not what makes this salad awesome.
The real star of this show is the apple cider vinaigrette. It’s light, and flavorful, and perfect on fall salads. Plus, it’s super easy to make. There is one small saucepan involved, but don’t let that scare you away-I promise the effort is minimal and the rewards are great. Give it a try!
(…and don’t forget the feta cheese!)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3T apple cider vinegar
- 2T olive oil
- 1 T maple syrup (honey works fine too)
- 1 T minced shallot
- 1 t dijon course ground mustard
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
Bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer briskly for 25-35 minutes or until it has reduced to about 2/3 cup.
Transfer reduced cider to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled, about 15 minutes.
Wisk together with the other ingredients until well combined (to save time, you could pulse them in a food processor, I just haven’t tried that yet)
Drizzle over salad and toss to coat; Makes about 6 servings.
Stores well in the refrigerator for about a week; just stir the ingredients together before serving.
Salad toppings for a splendid autumn salad:
- candied pecans or walnuts
- dried cranberries
- thinly sliced apples or pears
- feta or fresh grated parmesan cheese
- thinly sliced green onion tops (I’m sure red onions are more fall-y but I love the subtle flavor of the green ones)