The Best Lunch Salad Yet

Tuesday, 13 Jan 2009


I’m continuing my fancy-salad-for-lunch kick and today’s version was a spontaneous creation I just loved.  I don’t know if was especially good or if I just worked up an extra-big appetite at the gym — you’ll have to let me know what you think if you try it.  Today’s salad is made up of organic herb salad mix, chopped Honeycrisp apples, chopped caramelized walnuts, and crumbled Maytag blue cheese, dressed with the elusive perfect balsamic vinaigrette I’ve been searching for forever. Here’s my ingredient list:

Organic Herb Salad Mix in a Bag

2 tablespoons peeled and chopped Honeycrisp apples

1 tablespoon chopped caramelized walnuts

1 tablespoon crumbled Maytag blue cheese

I’ve never made a balsamic vinaigrette dressing that tasted quite right — it was always difficult to get the balance right and avoid bitterness.  Lately I’ve been dressing all, yes ALL, my salads with a citrus vinaigrette you all are probably tired of seeing.  Today the bottle of balsamic vinegar caught my eye and I decided to substitute it for the citrus juice in the dressing I usually make.  Voila!  It was that simple!  Why didn’t I think of this before?  It blended really well and the balsamic vinegar was the perfect match for the blue cheese and apples in the salad. I think the key to this tasting right was that the honey offset the bitterness of the vinegar.  So, here’s my dressing recipe, and as always, it’s one of those where you can play with the proportions until it suits your taste. The only downside is that the balsamic turns the apples brown as you’ll see in the next photo.  Tastes great, though!

Quick Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1.5 teaspoons honey

.5 teaspoons Dijon mustard

salt and pepper


As you saw in my post yesterday about the Minneapolis weather, it’s been really cold here.  Although the heat is on in our place, it’s still a little chilly inside, and Fred can’t seem to stay warm, even in his sweater.  The tableau that greeted me when I came home from the gym just cracked me up.  Fred had made a little nest for himself in the blanket on the couch and it seems he’s unlikely to come out of there anytime soon.  Enjoy!


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