It….is….hot! Sooooooo hot! This Tuesday, I took my kiddos to the opening of the local farmer’s market in Loveland and while I was excited to see the initial roster of vendors and to get my hands on some local strawberries and fresh baked bread and a pot of gorgeous rosemary, it….was…hot. I was actually worried about my children’s red cheeks and sweaty heads after only 20 or 30 minutes on the hot blacktop. Yikes. Next week, we’ll be sure to take water bottles. Shame on me.
When it’s this hot, few things sound better than a cooling salad. Especially one with apple vinaigrette! It makes me feel better just thinking about it. This particular one makes a lot of salad and it saves surprisingly well. You might try keeping the salad and dressing separate and dressing each night’s serving just before eating. A good salad takes a little bit of effort to put together so making a big batch at once and eating it multiple times is a real time saver.
Chopped Salad with Apple Vinaigrette
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
3 – 1″ strips of lemon zest
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 medium shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil (I mean really, who keeps grapeseed oil on hand??)
2 large celery stalks, finely diced
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, finely diced or shredded
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
4 oz. (1 cup) feta cheese, crumbled or diced
5 cups mesclun or other mixed greens
2 romaine lettuce hearts, coarsely chopped
1. In a small saucepan, bring the apple juice to a boil with the cinnamon stick and lemon zest. Simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and lemon zest. Pour the liquid into a small bowl and let cool slightly. Add the cider vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil until emulsified.
2. In a large bowl toss together the celery, cucumber, carrots, grapes, feta cheese, mesclun and romaine. Whisk the apple vinaigrette again and add to the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.