29 November 2007

A Salad Fit for a Winesap

After Thanksgiving break, my aunt sent me back to school with my favorite apples, the Stayman Winesap that I've already used once. I love how crisp they are, and how the promise from the rich, wine-like apple smell is so fully delivered in every bite. My aunt, knowing well my affinity for them, gifted me with three of these fragrant beauties. Three, which just happened to be the number of weekly updates for ABS. I knew that it was time for a long overdue apple week (for real this time Aubrey, though I'm sure your Fall Break apples are long gone now).

No cooking involved in this salad dish, rather a balancing of the delicate, dry flavor of the Winesaps with the tangy, sweet, crunchy, savory, and fresh flavors of the rest of the salad. The cheese in particular required some hands on attention – I acquired a French manicure of crumbled feta to prove it. The juxtaposition of all of the competing elements of the salad itself required a dressing that could both hold its own and keep those elements as the focal point. It also needed to be something out of my fridge, because with two weeks left to this semester, it's time to start working on whittling away at the perishables. For instance, all of the salad ingredients – barring the fresh apples I brought back after break – came from the dining hall at one time or another. The dressing conundrum ended up solving itself through this school-fueled necessity: a bottle of pomegranate and hibiscus vinaigrette that's been living in the suite's refrigerator since August. Extra pungent from sitting for three months, but still sweet from the pomegranate. Even now, I'm not sure what a hibiscus flower tastes like exactly, so I can't speak for how well that held up. In any case, I was glad to use another serving or two of my dressing, which turned out to be a complimentary, but not overpowering flavor for the whole dish.

I liked my apple salad so much I ate two and a half servings in one sitting. But hey, I figure I'm allowed to pig out on fruits and veggies. Maybe it'll even make up for the four snickers bars I had for breakfast, followed by a take-out box full of dining hall French fries for lunch. Two and a half salads balances that mess out, right?

Maybe I outta drink a V8, just to be on the safe side.

Fall Apple Salad

Things you can pocket at the dining hall:

2 cups spring greens mix

¼ cup feta cheese

1/3 cup Craisins

½ cup croutons

Things you can get elsewhere:

1 Stayman Winesap apple

pomegranate hibiscus vinaigrette dressing

  1. Arrange salad in layers, starting with the greens and ending with the feta. Sprinkle lightly with dressing. (If you go too heavy, the greens will start looking wilty and unappetizing. Plus the feta really becomes a star flavor when it isn't competing so much with a flood of dressing.)


1 comment:

AJ Star said...

ANYTHING that involves apples, craisins and feta cheese = delicious. there is no arguing that. i am so excited about this recipe. woohah for apple week! also YES for calling it ABS ;) wink wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiink. SWTS <3s ABS.