Thursday, August 30, 2007

Apple, Dried Cherry and Walnut Green Salad

(photo from
There's maple syrup in this salad dressing. Sounds way too sweet, doesn't it? Well, it is on the sweet side for a green salad, I'll admit. But there is something seductive about the mixture of mayo, maple syrup and champagne wine vinegar. You counter the sweet with the vinegar, and it's sublime. Usually I serve this in the Fall, and we're steamy here in So. California these days, so I'm waiting for the new crop of apples to come in before I make this again. Although Granny Smiths are good year around, I know. This is kind of reminiscent of a waldorf salad, except there isn't any celery in it. So think of this as a waldorf-ish green salad maybe.

This came from a cooking class with Phillis Carey, a cooking instructor I've mentioned before on this blog. She has such a creative culinary mind. I'm not that inventive - sure, I can put something together if the ingredients are plopped down in front of me, but I'd never have thought to make a salad dressing with mayo and maple syrup. And the combo of the apples, dried cherries and walnuts too.

I think there are too many apples in this salad, although maybe Phillis wanted the apples to be predominant. I prefer to make the lettuce the star (I may use more greens than noted) and the dressing shines through. Then the fruit comes in as secondary. The recipe below is exactly as Phillis made it, with my notes in parens. But, as you start thinking about apples, maybe you'll think about this salad. It's excellent in whatever proportion you choose to use!

Apple, Dried Cherry and Walnut Salad
Recipe By :From a cooking class with Phillis Carey
Servings: 8

6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons maple syrup
4 1/2 tablespoons champagne wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

10 ounces baby lettuce leaves (I use more)
4 whole Granny Smith apple -- or pears (I use 1, not 4)
3/4 cup dried cherries -- not sweetened
3/4 cup chopped walnuts -- toasted
1. Dressing: whisk mayonnaise, syrup, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil mixture, until it is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 days.
2. In a large salad bowl combine the lettuce, cherries and half of the toasted nuts. It is not necessary to peel the apples or pears, but you may if you choose. Cut the apples into julienne strips and add to the salad, then toss with enough dressing to coat the salad.
3. Divide salad equally onto 8 plates and sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
NOTES : This has a sweet tinge, obviously, with the maple syrup as a sweetener, but it's very tasty and easy. It helps if you have a mandoline to do the julienne apple strips.
To view a printable recipe, click on title at top.

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