Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apple Harvest Salad

A note about my recipes: You may notice my recipes don’t include a ¼ teaspoon of anything. This method of recipe writing frees the reader to use their instincts, follow their gut, and find their inner chef. I mean, would anyone really notice a dash more salt in a vat of soup? Alright, go ahead and put it in, just taste it as you go OK?

What It's All About:

Apple Harvest Salad is one of those "rave" gluten free recipes. This makes an excellent side dish or a healthy dessert and every time I make it people give me complements. So if you are having a down day, make this for your family. I guarantee you'll get so many kind words you'll beam with self confidence. This is the kind of recipe that makes kids do the dishes without being told and husbands notice that new hair do. I know that's a hefty claim, but this is really good stuff!

Stuff to Grab:

  • Large Serving Dish
  • Sharp Paring Knife
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Olive oil - Extra virgin gives it a richer taste, but you could certainly use the mild. You'll need about a cup.
  • Apples - 4 green, 4 red. I use Granny Smith and Gala, this gives the salad a tangy sweet taste. I've also used Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.
  • Dates - I've used both fresh and dried
  • Cashews - I use Planters. Be sure that if you buy fresh, you roast them and salt them first. You'll need about a cup.
  • Ground Cinnamon - Grab the big jar.
  • Ground Cloves - You'll need just a smidge
  • Ground Ginger - Same here, just a sprinkle will do.
Get your paring knife, peel and core your apples. I have young children, so I can accomplish this in about 5.3 seconds. If you are not that practiced, an apple corer makes quicker work of the job. Cut the apples in bite sized pieces, no smaller than a 1/2 inch. Toss the apples in your serving dish and drizzle with 1/2 of the olive oil. Coat the apples by turning them in the oil with the slotted spoon.

Cut the dates into 1/2 inch pieces and toss them in with the apples. Throw in the cashews and turn to coat them with oil. Next put in enough cinnamon to lightly color the apples, tossing as you go. I love cinnamon, so I put in too much, about 2 tablespoons. I know, I know, but at least it's good for ya!

Sprinkle on some cloves and ginger, but more cloves than ginger. A two to one ratio is about right. If you like spicy stuff, add more, if you like mellow stuff add less. Toss to combine.

Let sit for an hour or so to let the oil soak in a bit, then serve and get ready for the raves. Now, let's go have some fun! :)

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