Perfect for autumn, this Spanish-style salad combines peppery arugula, juicy apples, crunchy almonds and Manchego, the deliciously piquant sheep's milk cheese from the region of La Mancha in Spain. Tossed in a cider vinaigrette, it's got that salty-sweet-tangy flavor combination that everyone loves.
If you can find a Manchego that's been aged over six months, it will have a more distinctive flavor. Also, be sure to assemble the salad right before serving. Arugula tends to wilt quickly once it's dressed, and slice the apples at the last minute to avoid discoloration (or if you want to do it ahead of time, you can toss them with a little lemon juice).
- For the Salad:
- 5 ounces arugula or baby arugula
- 1 crisp apple, such as Fuji
- 3 1/2 ounces manchego, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted if desired
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons (real) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots, from one shallot
- Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make the vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place arugula in serving bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette again until well combined, then and to the salad, little by little, until greens are well dressed. You may have a little left over. Right before serving, cut apple into thin slices and toss into salad along with Manchego and almonds. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately.