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What the Well-Dressed Apple Is Wearing Now

April 07, 1999|ABBY MANDEL

Apples add acidity and crunch to salads. The kind of apple depends on what you like, as long as it's firm, crisp and not the least bit mealy. I prefer a somewhat tart apple such as an Empire or the new Pink Lady. But if I can't find either of those, I use a Granny Smith.

These dressings can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated. With the exception of the dressing for the slaw, bring the dressings to room temperature before tossing with chilled greens.

Serve salads on chilled plates. When a salad is large, serve it on a dinner-sized plate; it's much easier to eat. Regardless of the recipe, a last-minute sprinkle of minced fresh parsley or snipped chives enhances the presentation as well as the taste.

Mandel is author of "Celebrating the Midwestern Table" (Doubleday & Co., 1996).

Apple and Jicama Savoy Cabbage Coleslaw

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour

DRESSING

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons wholeseed mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon salt

Red pepper flakes

1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves and stems

3 1/2 tablespoons oil

* Combine vinegar, cider, honey, mustard, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes to taste in bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Stir in minced cilantro and oil.

SLAW

2 apples, halved, cored and shredded

1 carrot, shredded

1/2 small jicama, peeled and shredded

3 cups thinly sliced Savoy cabbage

* Put apples, carrot, jicama and cabbage in large bowl. Add 3/4 of Dressing and toss well. Add remaining Dressing if salad is too dry. Chill at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.

* Toss well and drain off any excess liquid before serving. Adjust seasonings.

6 servings. Each serving: 134 calories; 338 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.82 gram fiber.

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

Active Work and Preparation Time: 25 minutes

DRESSING

2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons small-diced red onion

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

* Combine vinegar, honey, mustard, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and stir until salt is dissolved. Stir in oil.

SALAD

1/2 cup walnut pieces or halves

3 large heads Belgian endive

2 bunches watercress, stems trimmed, about 5 cups leaves

1 large apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

* Toast walnuts in single layer on baking sheet at 350 degrees until fragrant, about 7 minutes.

* Cut endive crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

* Put endive, watercress and apple in large bowl. Add 3/4 of Dressing and toss well. Add remaining Dressing if salad is too dry. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

* Divide salad among 4 large chilled salad plates. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and blue cheese. Serve immediately.

4 servings. Each serving: 380 calories; 428 mg sodium; 13 mg cholesterol; 29 grams fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 4.39 grams fiber.

Romaine Salad With Apples, Red Onion and Cashews

Active Work and Preparation Time: 20 minutes

DRESSING

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons oil

* Combine honey, vinegar, water, mustard, salt, cumin and pepper, and stir until salt is dissolved. Stir in oil.

SALAD

1 large head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1 apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced

6 thin red onion slices, rings separated

1/2 cup salted cashews, coarsely chopped

* Put lettuce, apple and onion rings in large bowl. Add 3/4 of Dressing and toss well. Add remaining Dressing if salad is too dry. Taste and adjust seasoning.

* Divide salad among 6 large chilled salad plates. Sprinkle with cashews. Serve immediately.

6 servings. Each serving: 171 calories; 233 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.57 gram fiber.

Plate and napkin from Pottery Barn stores.

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