Do you have certain dishes that bring back vivid, happy memories? This particular salad does for me. The memory is of Sunday evenings spent at my friend Rachel’s old apartment many years ago. Each week we would gather at her little round table, drink wine, eat dinner, then take our places on the couch, where we’d watch a little Curb Your Enthusiasm before it was time for the real reason we were there: Sex and the City!
Rachel has since moved away (remember when I visited her in Pittsburgh last year?), but she’ll soon be making an appearance in Nashville! A few days ago, when I began cleaning out the guest room for her upcoming stay, I started thinking about those Sunday nights, which led me to thinking about this yummy salad. Tart and crunchy, it was a fun change from our typical side salad. I still have the photocopy she made me for me when I asked her for the recipe. It seems kind of funny now that it’s an actual photocopy, since I’m so accustomed to sharing links to recipes instead of hard paper copies. Did Cooking Light even have their recipes online back in 2003?? Perhaps not, but it’s on there now. I still use the dark photocopy though, because it makes me smile.
This weekend, as I began to pull all the ingredients together, I decided to change the recipe a bit, making it a little more substantial so it could be eaten as a full meal instead of a side dish. I must say, I think this may be even better than the original!
Green Apple and Celery Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
4 Main Dish Servings or 8 Side Dish Servings. Adapted from Cooking Light.
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced celery (about 6 stalks)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 cups mixed salad greens or arugula
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add the apple, celery, and parsley. Toss well to combine. Divide salad greens on to plates, then spoon apple mixture over salad greens, topping with cheese and walnuts.