This past week was insanely hot. Specifically Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night, I was at Canobie Lake Park with my best friend so I was not home for dinner, although Wednesday all I had was gymnastics from 1-4 p.m. like I do every other Monday through Thursday. And man was it stifling out! To try to cool down our palates I decided to make a crisp, cool, experimental salad. I knew I wanted to make a raspberry vinaigrette, and what better to pair with fruit, than more fruit! My mind immediately went to watermelon. But, after some consideration, I realized the watermelon’s texture would probably not hold up to a vinaigrette. It would certainly get soggy and the flavor wouldn’t be able to shine through. Then I realized that apple would be the fruit that would hold up the best to the flavors and wouldn’t get soggy. A good curly green leaf lettuce would bed an amazing bed, and walnuts would add a sufficient crunch to the salad.
Raspberry Apple Feta Salad
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tsp. sugar
I used fresh frozen raspberries so I measured out a heaping half cup and heated it for one minute to soften them. Place in a blender and purée. Mix the vinegar into the raspberries in the blender. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, and taste while you go, in case my palate is more acquainted to sweets than yours is. Set aside.
2 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup walnuts
curly leaf lettuce
Chop the apples into bite size pieces. (Quarter them, slice each quarter into three strips, then third each strip.) Chop the walnuts into small pieces before you measure them. Rinse the lettuce and then rip it into bite size pieces. Mix the apples, walnuts, and vinaigrette in a large bowl and let sit for at least one hour, longer if you want the flavor to soak in more. When you are ready to eat, divide the lettuce onto each plate as a bed. Scoop the nuts and apples onto your bed with a slotted spoon. Pour the excess vinaigrette over the salads evenly. Crumble the feta over the salads at the last minute so it does not get soggy.
For meat eaters, oven-baked chicken pairs perfectly, cubed on top. If you want a carbohydrate with your dish, serve pita bread or rolls on the side.