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Author Notes: Rarely do I ever follow a recipe word for word; usually I take inspiration, from restaurant dishes, magazines, and cookbooks. In Food & Wine Magazine, last month I believe, there was a recipe for Lemony Waldorf Salad. So . . . I started thinking, and this recipe is what I ended up with. Not very similar at all to the original, but still I must give credit to Food & Wine for getting my creative juices flowing. Many different cheeses were on my mind when trying this salad out at home: blue, Israeli feta, cheddar . . . though I settled on Manouri, which is made from the whey left after the feta-making process. It is mild, but has a pleasant saltiness. It has a similar mouthfeel to ricotta. Feel free to substitute one of the cheeses I mentioned above. —Leslie B
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons tart apple cider
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the first 5 ingredients in a mason jar (or other "shakeable" jar with lid) and shake vigorously.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Give one last shake . . . VOILA!
- Pour half of the vinaigrette in the bottom of your serving bowl and reserve the remaining half.
- 6 ounces baby romaine/baby spinach mix
- 8 ounces fennel, sliced paper thin on a mandolin
- 8 ounces tart apple, sliced paper thin on a mandolin
- 1 cup sliced grapes
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 5 ounces Manouri cheese, crumbled
- Slice fennel on a mandolin and toss with a bit of the reserved vinaigrette.
- Place the walnuts in a saute pan over medium heat, tossing frequently to prevent burning. When the nuts are fragrant and a golden brown, remove from the heat and let cool.
- Add lettuce, fennel, apple, grapes, and walnuts to your serving bowl, and toss gently with the vinaigrette.
- Drizzle in additional vinaigrette and toss again if necessary.
- Top with crumbled Manouri.
- Serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Autumn Salad