I feel a little behind with this post, especially since Thursday marks the end of the apple season…. and what a scrawny season at that.
If you don’t live in the Midwest you may not be aware that there was a major apple shortage this fall… or maybe you are because the high prices at your supermarket tipped you off… either way, due to the drought this summer, apple crops were weak (read:non-existent).
Now I am an avid apple eater so I definitely noticed the spike in price as well as the dwindling size. Don’t worry, it didn’t deter my love one bit. We still buy a large bag each week just to snack on and more if we’re going to do some cooking. J and I take to heart, “an apple a day…” So it’s no surprise that during this busy party season that one of my favorite side dishes to contribute to our get-togethers has some sort of apple theme to it.
A few weeks back some of our friends were getting together for dinner. I was put in charge of bringing fresh fruit. I wasn’t super excited about bringing a fruit salad, with it being the most fruit off-season and everything, so about 10 minutes before we were supposed to be there I decided to throw everything I had in the fridge together and make a fall salad.
Here’s what’s in it:
- Spinach to channel Popeye
- Cole-slaw mix (or cabbage) for the crunch
- Feta cheese… because what salad is complete without feta cheese?
- Roasted unsalted sliced almonds to keep our brains healthy
- Honeycrisp apples because I adore the sweet juicy texture
I tossed all of that together but knew that an ordinary dressing wouldn’t due so… I made one using…
Yep… you got it. Apple Butter.
I love to make my own salad dressings, but typically stick to the normal vinaigrette’s but I decided to branch out a bit… and guess what? You can too!
- Apple Butter
- Mustard (regular, honey or Dijon, I used regular but it’s up to you)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Maple syrup
I start with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I don’t typically measure, just make sure that I’ll have enough total for everyone present. Then add in the mustard to taste. I probably put in about 4 tbsp. Then add about 3 tbsp apple butter and finish off with about 1/8 cup maple syrup.
Again, make sure you taste it. I do everything to taste and don’t measure when it comes to dressings. So if it’s a little bitter for you, add some more sweetness. If it’s too sweet, add some more mustard. It’s actually quite liberating not using a direct recipe!
Then just put the cap on the container (mason jar is what I normally use) and give it a good shake until well mixed.
Add that to your salad and people won’t know what hit them.
I think this is a perfect pre-thanksgiving meal… you know, eating light to save up for the big feast? Or it could be a wonderful day after recovery meal. Either way, it’s still perfectly fall-ish and definitely tasty. Oh, not to mention healthy.
Give it a go. Tell me what you think.
Happy first day of Thanksgiving holiday!
P.S. Tomorrow I will be posting a very unhealthy but incredibly awesome favorite recipe of mine. I’m just a wee bit excited.