Arugula & Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

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Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. Probably because the whole thing revolves around eating and doesn’t involve stressful gift-giving or decorating. The only thing that causes me Thanksgiving stress is worrying about whether there will be enough food. Not for the dinner itself, but for leftovers. What a tragedy it would be, going to the refrigerator at midnight on Thanksgiving and discovering all the stuffing was scarfed down by your gluttonous relatives! It’s a Thanksgiving version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Since I’m not hosting this year, my destiny is in the hands of my fabulous relatives. There’s never a shortage of food with this gene pool, so no worries.

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy salad to make for Thanksgiving, this is it. It’s a crowd pleaser. Refreshing when paired with all the heavy sides that grace our holiday table. A little leafy green stuff alongside everything else is delish. 

To make it really easy on yourself, buy pre-crumbled cheese and pre-washed greens. You can throw this salad together in minutes.

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Dressing adapted from Epicurious.

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing…

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp minced shallots
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  •  A scant 1/2 cup good olive oil

Combine the ingredients together in a small bowl, adding the olive oil last. Whisk to emulsify. Set aside.

For the salad…

  • 7oz. baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • 1/3 cup of toasted pecans
  • 2 large apples, large dice

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. You probably won’t need all the dressing. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

I’ve made this several times and it’s also delicious with these variations:

  • Toasted walnuts
  • Crumbled feta or big shards of Parmesan cheese
  • Diced fresh pears
  • Baby kale or fresh spinach

I should mention that I’m an apple snob. Chalk it up to living in beautiful Bucks County with all our local farms. I love honey crisp, sun crisp or fuji apples, something super crisp and sweet is best. I don’t even peel the apples for the salad.

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