Cheddar, Apple & Walnut Salad

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cheddar-walnut-apple-salad

Sometimes I look in my fridge and I feel like I got nothing. Some carrots, some ketchup, a jar of peanut butter but nothing that could make a pretty first course. I had put all my eggs in one basket; I spent the afternoon braising some beef short ribs in a mirepoix of vegetable goodness and a full bottle of Zinfandel, and had neglected the first course.

Short ribs take forever to cook, especially if you opt to smoke them for an hour before burying them in the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, thyme and wine for two more solid hours. I was so distracted by the short rib goodness wafting through the air that I forgot to even think about a first course.

When the hubby popped into the kitchen to “help” (which also means “I’m hungry”), the ribs still had another hour to go. I told him to eat an apple and some cheese. Not recognizing my sarcasm, he indeed pulled out the cheddar and started slicing. I had an epiphany as he sweetly pulled together his snack. Could I get my hubby to eat a salad if I loaded it up with thick wedges of cheddar cheese and thin slices of apple? I was about to try…

The greens were fresh from the farm that day – a combo of arugula and radicchio – cleaned and tossed with olive oil, thyme-cider vinegar and salt. I quickly toasted some walnuts. I made a big mound of   greens and simply placed the cheddar, apples and walnuts on top. What are those specs of pepper doing on my three co-stars? I neglected to pepper the greens (again, my brain was on the ribs!) and decided a quick twist of the pepper mill on the finished product was better than leaving it out.

People, let me tell you how scrumptious this salad was. No, wait. I won’t tell you. You probably have all the ingredients on hand, just assemble. Hmm, you may not have my homemade thyme-cider vinegar but a light splash of apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar will also work. The hubby ate this and gave it a big thumbs up. I’m guessing yours will too.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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