We eat a LOT of salads in our house. They can be a complete lunch or dinner with some crusty bread and a glass of wine. Or they can be the myriad and varied salatim that are an essential part of any Middle Eastern meal. The Apple, Goat Cheese and Pecan Salad is another entry from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa cookbook.
It can be made with persimmons or peaches instead of the apple. You also can vary the flavor palate depending on the type of goat cheese that you choose as well. What cannot change is the freshness of the produce, the quality of the pecans and goat cheese and the brightness of the lemony dressing. This is a very satisfying salad and is visually quite appealing. So the next time you want to dress things up a bit, give this Apple, Goat Cheese and Pecan salad a try. It is an especially nice accompaniment to the Za’atar Roasted Chicken over Sumac Potatoes and would be great with any fish dish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side salad
1/2 cup fruity EVOO
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.5 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1.5 teaspoons date syrup (silan) (double the honey if you don’t wish to use silan)
1.5 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper or more, to taste
For the salad
1 large head if butter lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces (You could use another soft, flavorful lettuce if butter lettuce isn’t available.)
1 large, firm persimmon, peach or crisp apple (I like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted pecans – whole or coarsely chopped
4 ounces of a soft goat cheese (I used one with vegetal ash, but you could use an herbed or good plain goat cheese.)
Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar until emulsified and creamy. Set aside until just ready to serve.
Arrange the salad ingredient in a shallow bowl or platter in an attractive arrangement. When you are ready to serve, give the dressing a good stir or shake and drizzle over the salad. You do not want to drown the salad and any extra can be refrigerated for another salad. You can also serve some additional dressing on the side after the initial drizzle so that people can add more if they wish. Now eat!