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Recipe: Blueberry, Blue Cheese, Almond and Apple Salad with Maple Dressing

Recipe: Blueberry, Blue Cheese, Almond and Apple Salad with Maple Dressing

The salad has got it going on. It's basically the love child of a perfect cheese plate and a bowl of fresh spring greens. And it's sure to get your summer barbecue started right.

As I was trying to get this particular dinner party started, my 16-year-old twin cousins took my 5-year-old on a joy ride in our newly refurbished golf cart. I remembered the exhiliration (and partial terror) of riding with their dad when I was little, and tried to keep an eye on them while I snapped a photo of this crowd-pleasing salad. Multitasking!

Also, when you have 17 people and a dog under one roof, there's gonna somebody in the background of every photo, unless you really zoom in.

Anyway, this salad has all the good stuff in one bowl: creamy-yet-sharp Gorgonzola, fragrant toasted almonds, tart blueberries, crunchy honeycrisp apples and fresh, mild butterhead lettuce. Maple syrup gets a kick from apple cider vinegar in the sweet-savory dressing, which brings out the flavors of the fruit and cheese -- sort of like jam on a cheese plate -- without overpowering the greens.

It's a perfect side for a barbecue or can stand alone as a weeknight dinner if you add some grilled chicken or tofu.

Blueberry, Blue Cheese, Almond and Apple Salad with Maple Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Salad:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 5 ounces butterhead lettuce (or salad greens of your choice)
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 ounces blueberries, picked through and stems removed
  • 2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola (blue cheese)

For dressing:

Whisk mayonnaise, maple syrup, cider vinegar, olive oil and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Or, if you like, put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Whisk or shake to combine ingredients before drizzling on your salad.)

For salad:

golfcart

Pour almonds into a pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until you begin to smell the aroma of toasted almonds and see the almond slices begin to turn golden. Quickly remove from heat and pour almonds into a heat-proof bowl to cool.

Toss the lettuce, apple and blueberries with just enough dressing to coat. (You won't need all the dressing! Use the leftovers as a delicious marinade for grilled yellow squash and zucchini.) Sprinkle with toasted almonds and crumbled Gorgonzola.

Serves 6-8

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