For the salad a single firm, crisp apple such as a Macoun, Mcintosh, or Pink Lady is all you need. Sliced thinly it’s combined with red onion, toasted walnuts, frisee (a bitter green) and tender red leaf lettuce. A simple dressing prepared with honey, cider vinegar, mustard, and oil adds both sweet and tart notes to the mélange.
This salad could be used as a light opener for an autumn supper or as a side dish to roast pork or chicken. You can make the vinaigrette dressing in advance and the other ingredients only take minutes to clean and prep. Good bye Summer! Hello Fall!
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Oakleaf and Apple Salad in Honey Cider Dressing
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup canola oil
1 firm, crisp unpeeled apple, halved, cored, and thinly sliced (Macaouns, McIntosh or Pink Lady work well.)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups oak leaf or red leaf lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
4 cups curly endive (frisée) or other tart greens (See note.)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (See cooking tip.)
1. Prepare dressing. Whisk honey, vinegar, mustard, and scant 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium nonreactive bowl until blended. Whisk in oil. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature, and whisk well before using.)
2. Add sliced apple and onion to a salad bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Marinate 10 minutes. Add the oak leaf and frisee. Then, toss with just enough of the remaining dressing to coat lightly. You may not need to use all the dressing. Season salad with more salt and with a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Mound on 6 salad plates and garnish each serving with some walnuts.
Note: Curly endive is a variety of chicory, which is also sold under the French name, "frisee." Frisee has small, pale green lacey leaves and a slightly tart taste. It is milder than other chicories.
Cooking tip: To toast walnuts, spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Bake until slightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn.. Cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2014