Apple and Pecan Salad with Goat Cheese

I’ve sung the praises of salad on here before, I know.  It is a wonderful way to get lots of nutrients in a light dish, it’s endlessly adaptable to the seasons, it’s a snap to put together after a long day… is there anything bad about salad?  If there is, it’s just that salad can sometimes be a bit boring.  But that’s easily fixed – the trick is to make sure there is plenty of visual interest, different flavors and textures, and variety from night to night.  If you treat salads like a meal, making an effort to get plenty of different colors onto the plate and adding a protein, you’ll happily eat them for the rest of your life and never get bored.

I love this particular salad in the fall.  It has some of my favorite flavors – crisp apples, crunchy-sweet pecans, and creamy goat cheese – all tossed with greens and wrapped in a tangy honey mustard vinaigrette.  Best of all, it’s put together from ingredients I almost always have on hand.  It does what the best dinner salads do – provide a healthy but filling dinner on five minutes’ prep.  It’s a winner.

Apple and Pecan Salad with Goat Cheese

2 cups mixed greens
2 apples, sliced thinly
2 ounces goat cheese (I like Laura Chenel), crumbled
1/2 cup pecans, toasted (substitute walnuts if desired)
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

  • Divide the greens evenly into two bowls.  Add half of the following to each bowl: sliced apples, toasted pecans, crumbled goat cheese.  Toss gently to combine.
  • To make the vinaigrette, simply combine the mustard, honey, vinegar and olive oil in a clean jar and shake briskly until the dressing is emulsified.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and shake again to combine.  (Nota Baker: This makes way more dressing than you will need for the salad.  I like to make mine in a tupperware container with a lid and a spout and store it in the fridge.  It will keep for quite some time – I’m not sure how long, because I’ve never been able to keep the stuff in the house long enough for it to go bad!  In the fridge, the dressing will solidify; don’t worry about that.  Just let it come up to temperature and then shake it again to recombine all of the ingredients before using it.  It’s wonderful on all types of salads, not just this one.)

Yield: Serves two

Source: Covered In Flour