Arugula, Apple and Candied Almond Salad | Rachel Begun, MS, RD

ArugulaAppleSalad-3

One of my culinary school instructors gave me great advice: get inspiration for recipe development from your favorite restaurants dishes.

That’s what I did for this recipe.  The North End at 4580 is a gem of a neighborhood restaurant in North Boulder.  I eat there at least once a week with Darren and sometimes more if meeting a friend for lunch or after-work drinks.  The food and service is consistently great.  Their Arugula and Pear Salad, which I’ve ordered countless times, inspired this recipe. I usually order it with lobster or salmon, but it can also be paired with grilled chicken, scallops, steak or even a burger.

My timing for replicating and documenting this recipe is impeccable, as they’ve just taken it off the menu, probably because pears are no longer in season.  Apples aren’t either, but I still wanted to share the recipe with you because the fruit used can easily be tailored to the season.

Arugula is in season right now. It’s peppery bite is a perfect match for sweet apples and candied almonds as well as the tart lemony dressing.  For summer, I recommend replacing the apples with grilled peaches or cherries, as these stone fruits pair well with almonds.

Arugula, Apple and Candied Almond Salad

1 cup almonds
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut or maple sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. shallots, chopped
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. honey
3 cups arugula
1/2 cup thinly sliced apple (sweet, crisp variety is best)*
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, half moon slice

  1. Warm a cast iron skillet on medium heat.  Add the almonds and toast until lightly browned and slightly fragrant.  Add the maple syrup and stir until the almonds are well coated.
  2. Transfer the maple almonds to a foil-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle sugar over almonds evenly.  Freeze until the almonds have become crisp and crystallized with the sugar.  Set aside.
  3. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, shallots, sea salt, pepper and honey in a blender until smooth.
  4. In a serving bowl, toss the arugula with enough of the dressing to coat the leaves.
  5. Layer the dressed arugula with the apple slices, sliced onions and the candied almonds.

*  In summer, replace apples with same amount of either grilled peaches or cherries

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