Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Salad making has never a specialty of mine. My parents immigrated from a land where vegetables had to be thoroughly washed and well cooked. As a result, raw vegetables were a rare part of my diet growing up. I do fondly remember eating the occasional iceberg lettuce doused with thousand island dressing with my dad, who had a penchant for the thick, creamy sweet condiment.

This early exposure to thousand island dressing was probably what fueled my love for Big Macs growing up 😛

The warm goat cheese salad I present to you today is a healthy, light way to start off your next meal. Use a different type of apple if you find the Granny Smith to be too tart, especially paired with the honey apple cider vinaigrette. I cracked open my own walnuts with a garlic press (I do recommend getting an actual nutcracker though), but you can buy pre-shelled walnuts to make your lives a bit easier.

Ingredients:

1 granny smith apple, sliced
3 oz goat cheese log, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
3 cup spring mix salad
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Vinaigrette:
5-½ tbsp honey
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch freshly ground Pepper
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 dash lemon juice

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the sliced goat cheese on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes until the cheese has melted inside but still retains its shape.

2) For the vinaigrette, whisk together the honey and vinegar till the honey has dissolved. Season with salt and pepper and slowly add the olive oil while stirring. Add a dash of lemon juice. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust accordingly if you want a sweeter dressing.

3) Toss the spring mix greens with the dressing. Add the walnuts and apple slices and mix well.

4) Plate the salad and add the warm slices of goat cheese on top. Enjoy!

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