Crisp, refreshing salad made with sweet apples, toasted nuts and a thick and creamy wholegrain mustard and balsamic vinegar dressing. A Dairy-free recipe.
This summer salad provides a mix of interesting textures, and a subtle balance of sweet, sour and bitter flavours. You can serve it as a light starter, or turn into a main meal by adding slices of grilled chicken or bacon. For a vegan option, pair with chunky wedges of roasted parsnip.
Tips & Tricks
- Crush the nuts separately – walnuts require much less force than hazelnuts, and would be pulversied to dust if bashed together
- Toast the nuts – this intensifies the flavour as the natural oils are released and brown the flesh
- Keep shaking the dressing until it thickens – the mustard and honey will emulsify the oil and vinegar, creating a thick coating that clings to the salad rather than running off and pooling at the bottom of the plate
- Add dressing just before serving – this stops the salad leaves from getting limp and soggy
- Toss with your hands – this is the most effective way to evenly coat the leaves in dressing
for the salad:
- 50g walnuts
- 30g hazelnuts
- 3 sweet apples (390g)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
- 1 lettuce, leaves separated and chopped (I used batavia, but baby gem also works well)
for the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 1 teaspoon runny honey (or, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the nuts and dry fry until fragrant and just starting to colour, stirring frequently – about 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully, as they can quickly burn! Remove from the pan and spread over a plate to cool for a few minutes. Bash the hazelnuts until they break apart into largeish pieces – you can use a pestle and mortar to do this, or seal in a bag and bash with a rolling pin. Repeat with the walnuts.
- Peel the apple (or not – peel can be hard to digest). Chop into wedges or matchsticks (stand the apple upright. Cut down to slice off a side, as close to the core as possible. Turn the apple 90° and repeat until all four sides have been removed from the core. Lay the sides cut-side down and slice lengthways into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch slices. Stack slices and repeat). Toss immediately in the lemon juice to stop the apple from discolouring.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jam jar, and shake vigorously until emulsified (the dressing will thicken when the oil becomes incorporated into the vinegar).
- Combine the lettuce, apple and celery in a large bowl. Pour over the salad dressing just before serving. Toss until evenly coated using your hands, then scatter over the nuts.