While looking for a salad to compliment my Valentine’s Dinner Party menu, I came across this recipe from Ina Garten’s
Back to Basics. Salty bacon, peppery arugula, crunchy apples and walnuts, savory blue cheese, and sweet cranberries all tossed in a tangy citrus dressing, what’s not to love? Well, when it came time to pull everything together, I decided that there was too much going on to make the bacon, so I skipped it. Nobody noticed, and when I asked Jim he said that the bacon would have been overkill. Seriously, MY husband said something was better WITHOUT the addition of bacon. People, this is a man who ordered an extra side of bacon to go with his bacon waffle. He loves his bacon! I have to agree though, so I have amended the original recipe to omit the bacon that I think would be good if you would like to put it in, but it totally delicious without it.
This was great as the salad for our dinner, but would be delicious on its own, or with grilled chicken marinated in some of the dressing, for lunch.
- 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Orange Zest, grated
- 2 Tbsp Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- Kosher salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
- 2/3 cup Olive Oil
- 8 oz Baby Arugula
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
- ½ cup Walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
- 6 oz Blue Cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
- For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1 ½ tsp salt, and the pepper in a bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
- In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.
- Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Serve immediately.