A salad for lunch doesn’t have to be a major production. You can make a delicious salad with only three ingredients and be on your way to a healthy eating day (pat self on back). This escarole and apple salad with smoked almonds features sweet and salty over flavorful escarole. There’s something about sweet, salty and crunchy that go so well together – think kettle corn.
I started with escarole which is a relative of endive but less bitter. It is full of folic acid, fiber and vitamins A and K. I topped it with seasonal Honey Crisp apples but they can be hard to find so any sweet apple will do. A mandoline will help you get thin slivers of apple but watch those fingertips!
This is an easy salad to prep ahead and eat for the week. If you are planning to have leftovers, keep the sliced apples in a separate container soaking in cold water. Add them right before serving and this will keep them from browning. For detailed directions click here. To pack this for lunch put the dressing in the bottom of a jar and top with the salad. When you are ready to eat, give it a shake and be proud of your healthy self.
Balsamic Vinaigrette must be the easiest and least expensive thing to make at home. Once you try this recipe you will never buy store bought again, unless you are in a hurry. Dressing can easily be changed according to the salad – instead of orange zest and juice, add lime. Omit the mustard and add shallots instead of garlic. Experiment with champagne vinegar or orange muscat vinegar. It’s almost impossible to mess this up. A general rule of thumb is three parts oil to one part vinegar. I prefer my dressing a bit more tart so I added more balsamic vinegar. Keep it in the fridge for the week and it’s easy to have a healthy and delicious salad at a moment’s notice. If you prefer a thicker dressing put all ingredients in the blender to emulsify.
This dressing is tonight’s flank steak marinade and always a huge hit with the kids. Use it to top quinoa, millet, orzo, beans or chickpea salad.
Escarole and Apple Salad with Smoked Almonds
- 1 small head of escarole washed and dried thoroughly
- 1 large Honey Crisp apple or 2 small
- 1/2 cup smoked almonds chopped
- Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp grainy mustard
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- juice of 2 oranges
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad thoroughly dry the escarole. This allows the dressing to stick and not just roll off the escarole.
Slice the apple with a mandoline. Top the escarole with apples and chopped almonds.
For the dressing place all ingredients except oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add olive oil in a slow stream while whisking constantly. Alternately, mix all ingredients in a blender. This will result in a thicker dressing.