Here is a very simple but elegant salad. It is a tasty and eye-healthy addition to the heavy meals and sweets we eat this time of year, providing antioxidants that lower the risk of AMD and other eye-related diseases. Arugula is an aromatic salad green with a peppery mustard flavor and is also known as Italian cress or rocket. It is rich source of iron as well as vitamins A and C. Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C and are also rich in the flavonoid quercetin, which also acts as an antioxidant. Cranberries are very high in vitamin C. Pistachios, which are only cultivated in California, Italy, Turkey, and Iran, are rich in calcium, thiamine, phosphorus, iron and vitamin A.

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Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 crisp apple, such as Granny Smith or Honey Crisp
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 6-7 cups arugula, washed and dried (remove stems from large leaves)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cups roasted pistachios
  • 3 oz packaged goat cheese, crumbled

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt

Instructions

  1. Wash the apple and cut into quarters, leaving the peel intact. Remove the core from two of the quarters using a paring knife and slice as thinly as possible, saving the other two for another use. 

  2. In a small bowl, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, honey, olive oil and salt.

  3. Place the slices in a bowl and drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.

  4. Just before serving, toss the arugula and apples with just enough dressing to coat the leaves. Divide salad among four plates. 

  5. Sprinkle each serving with about 1 tablespoon each of dried cranberries and pistachios. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over each serving to taste.

Recipe Notes

Change out the greens: either mix the arugula with watercress, or use a baby lettuce mix, baby spinach, or butter lettuce.  Use thinly sliced pear instead of apple.  Exchange pomegranate seeds for the dried cranberries.  Use toasted sliced or slivered almonds instead of the pistachios.  Use an herb-flavored goat cheese or blue cheese, particularly if using pears.  Agave nectar can be used in lieu of the honey in the vinaigrette.