Thursday, August 27, 2009

Apple & Bleu Cheese Salad w/ Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

A light and flavorful salad has a place before or along side almost any meal. The sweetness of the apples contrasts nicely with the pungent bleu cheese and bitter greens. The Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette plays off all of those flavors and the addition of bacon brings this simple salad into a taste-bud tingling dish that's strong and satisfying enough to stand on it's own.

Apple and Bleu Cheese Salad

4 cups Spinach
4 cups arugula leaves
2 large apples, roughly chopped
1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup crispy cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Toss all ingredients together with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (below)

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, water, maple syrup, sugar, mustard, garlic, and pepper. Add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until emulsified.

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