In between all of the rich, buttery dishes I love to make, I eat a lot of salads. And if I’m going to bother with a salad, I want it to be a good one. I’ve been making this salad at least four times a week, for lunch or dinner, and I never get tired of it. Sweet and tangy Granny Smith apples so perfectly accompany the acidity in my favorite vinaigrette which is made with both balsamic vinegar and lemon. Oregano and dill bring contrasting, yet complimentary flavors to the bowl. Cherry tomatoes lend a fresh sweetness and cheese rounds out the flavors and gives the salad substance, along with the avocado. I love this salad.
I used mozzarella for the cheese in this particular version, but I can imagine just about any cheese working well: Feta, Gouda, Gruyère, Brie, goat cheese—any cheese you like!
Apple Oregano Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette
- Yield: 2 large salads + 1 four-year-old-sized serving + dressing for the next day (the dressing is really even better the second day, after the herbs have marinated)
First, make the dressing by whisking together the following:
- 2-4 tablespoons shallots, minced
- juice of one lemon
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh, if you have it on hand!)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch of finely-ground sea salt
- generous dash of pepper
Next, assemble the body of the salad. My favorite way to assemble, when making salad for only two or three people, is straight into large, individual bowls.
- 4 handfuls mixed greens, whatever kind you like (my favorite is Organic Girl SUPER GREENS!, with baby chard, baby spinach, arugula, and tat soi—though I didn’t know what tat soi was until just a moment ago, after checking the package for the ingredients! It’s a baby bok choy.)
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2-3 Granny Smith apples
- 12-15 cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- fresh dill, as much as possible! (if you don’t have fresh on hand, it also works to add dried dill to the dressing)
- 4 ounces of cheese, chopped or crumbled, depending on what you choose
Once the salad is assembled, generously ladle with dressing.