I have been making the exact combination of this salad for at least four times in two weeks and our love for it is still going strong. The contrast of textures and colours make this a beautiful and delicious salad to add to our winter dinner table.
To make it interesting, there is a whole lot that goes into this salad: lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, radishes, green apple, toasted walnut halves and a handful of raisins. I select vegetables that give my salad maximum crisp and crunch. After everything is chopped into bite-sized pieces, they go into the largest bowl I own and get tossed with a dijon maple vinaigrette that I make to taste – I tend to like my vinaigrette on the sweeter and sharper side so I go heavy on the mustard and maple syrup.
The vegetables that I use in this salad are nothing extraordinary, especially in winter when they are not grown locally in season. But what makes this salad so good is the addition of green apple, walnuts and raisins. These three ingredients partner well together in so many things – pies, cakes, crumbles, oatmeal – and I was inspired to add them to my salad. Nutty, fresh, sharp and sweet, the flavour combination elevates out of season lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.
We like to eat this hearty salad with thick slices of rustic bread and a steaming hot bowl of lentil soup. It makes for a light yet filling meal that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve over-eaten.