Sunday, June 8, 2008

Free-Form Salad Creation

I have previously blogged about how I find soup-making to be a very artistic and free-form act. It's so much fun to add a little of "this 'n' that" and then discover the results. Creating salads is a similar process for me at times. Take this salad, for example. The Best Husband Ever and I were headed to a potluck barbecue last week, and I was commissioned for some kind of a vegetable contribution. I knew that I had quickly ripening spinach on hand, as well as a good haul of apples that were not getting any younger. I decided to make a sweet and cider-y salad.

That is not what I ended up with. At least, not exactly. Instead, I turned out a slightly more savory spicy apple salad. Was it what I had planned? Nope. But was it good? Did it turn out okay? You bet! More than just okay, in fact -- I actually got some compliments at the barbecue, and the burger master even asked about the dressing's ingredients. However, since I had not measured a thing, I could only give him a rough estimate of what went into this salad.

And that, dear readers, is what I am going to leave you with. This is not a rigid recipe by any means, but a guide to start your taste buds firing in a general direction. If you want to try something else, go for it! All of the ingredients, especially the spices, are according to your personal tastes and needs. This recipe is fun and makes a refreshing summertime dish, so don't be afraid to get creative.

Mexican Apple Salad

baby spinach
apple, chopped
cucumber, sliced
yellow pepper, sliced

fresh jalapeno pepper, diced
fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh garlic, diced
fresh lime, sliced
chili powder
black pepper
cayenne powder
apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
lime juice

In a large bowl, combine all the produce, excluding the spinach. In a smaller bowl, mix up the spices and liquids. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, toss the spinach into the mix (otherwise I find that the spinach gets limp and slimy). For an extra-cool kick, garnish with a dollop of sour cream (or alternative) and a few additional sprigs of cilantro.


  1. I'm with you on the idea of salad being something very creative that changes each time I make it. We love salad, and your listed ingredients are perfect for so many different possibilities!

  2. Thank you, kellypea!


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