Apple and Brie Salad with Apple Cider Mustard Vinaigrette

Cooked up on November 4, 2012

Filed under: gluten free, lunch, salad, under 1 hour, uses for leftovers, vegetarian

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Sometimes I worry that starting a post with how much I love ______ food gets a little redundant. Every food can’t be my favorite food. But here is the thing – I think I get more excited than average about even the most mundane foods. Have you heard of pickles? They are amazing!

But forget the pickles. I am going even more ubiquitous than that today. We’re talking about apples.

You know that saying about eating one a day – well, I actually DO eat an apple almost every single day. “Keeping the doctor away” is part of it (and only part of my daily vitamin intake routine), but it’s also because they are just delicious. Plus, they are filling and full of fiber and vitamins – basically, when it comes to overall nutrition AND “full” calories (as opposed to empty; see “cheesey puffs”) there is literally nothing better for you than fresh, raw produce.

Almost every day in my lunch for work I pack an apple and a banana to go along with whatever I’m eating. I might trade something out if it’s not winter and something else like peaches are in season. This weekend for a fun lunch, I decided to work one into a mustardy, fall salad. So here goes.

For the salad – makes two servings:

  • 3-4-ish cups of fresh spinach, loosely packed
  • 1 medium-tanginess apple, cubed – I used a Honeycrisp.
  • 2 oz. brie, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower kernels
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or more if you like)

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by washing your spinach, tearing it up into fork-sized pieces, and drying it off. Place in a mixing bowl.

Next, mix up the vinaigrette. Combine mustard, lemon juice and vinegar. Add the olive oil slowly, as you whisk the heck out of the dressing to create an emulsion (side note: an emulsion, as we might have said before, is basically beating the crap out of two things that don’t dissolve into each other, such as oil and vinegar. The result is *almost* as if they had actually dissolved, at least for a while. They will eventually re-separate.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the raisins, sunflower kernels and dressing to the spinach and toss to coat. Plate the spinach and sprinkle the apple and brie on top. Do not prepare too far ahead, because the apple will oxidize. To avoid oxidization, you can dunk the apples in lemon juice, but I don’t love the way that tastes.

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