APPLES CAN BE TRICKY in salads. They add great flavor and interest, but their crisp texture and tart flavor can stand out if the salad has too many soft or milder tasting ingredients. The apples should blend in and complement the other flavors in a salad rather than overpower them.
Two ways to ensure this are to dice the apple into small pieces, and to include ingredients in the salad that are equally bold in texture and flavor. Kaleidoscopic Apple Salad does both, with dynamic colors to match.
The best salad apples offer a little tang with their sweetness. Varieties like Blondee, Corail, Cortland, Ginger Gold, Golden Supreme, GoldRush, Mutsu, and Shizuka, are especially good choices, as they are slow to brown when sliced.
The ingredients for Kaleidoscopic Apple Salad were sent to us by Joanne Scheuble of Cambridge, Massachusetts. She enthused about a salad named “Green & Nutty,” one of two salads featuring apples at her neighborhood Tatte Bakery and Café.
The menu listed ingredients but not proportions. Joanne estimated the relative amounts of the ingredients, to which I made a few adjustments.
The result is a rich and complex salad, with a light orange vinaigrette dressing accenting soft greens, crisp apples, dense apricots and cranberries, firm sunflower and pumpkin seeds, smooth edamame beans, creamy goat cheese, and tiny black sesame seeds.
“The sesame seeds add a great touch of color and a tasty surprise,” says Joanne. “The whole set of flavors work really well together.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Kaleidoscopic Apple Salad
4 c baby romaine lettuce
2 c baby arugula
1 large apple, cored and diced small
1 c cooked edamame beans
¾ c dried apricots, chopped
½ c dried cranberries
2 T roasted sunflower seeds
2 T pumpkin seeds
1 T black sesame seeds
In a large bowl, lightly toss together greens, fruit, seeds, and half the dressing from the recipe below. Serve with dollops of goat cheese on top.
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
2 t honey
1 t orange zest
Grate zest from orange, and then juice it, yielding between ¼ and ⅓ cup. Blend juice with other ingredients by shaking in an airtight container. Makes enough for two salads.