Test Kitchen: an apple dressed for a party

by Mara Eyllon on October 15, 2010

Enter the party: an apple, arugula and some walnuts. Things look pretty good, certainly better than okay. Then enter: the Dubliner. Please pass the Guiness, things just got turned up a notch.

Every fall as the apples roll in, there is a clamor of excitement–we drive 45 minutes into the countryside to pick our own, or grab an eight-pound bag of the fruit from the stalls of our local farmers market (read: Kimball’s and Nicewicz at Union Square Farmers Market). But for all its popularity as an everyday snack and cherished pie filling, alternative uses for apples seem few and far between in the average home cook’s repertoire.

While pears and grapes all too often steal the stage from the apple, its virtues as a salad topper are plentiful. Unlike the pear, it’s tart, and unlike the grape, crisp, making it a welcome addition to many salads. 

Its peppery kick makes arugula–available from Flats Mentor Farm,  the ideal companion for the apple. The distinct flavor of the arugula cuts through the sweetness and complements the pleasant tartness of the granny smith. While many a fruit adorned salad recipes call for gorgonzola or chevre, I decided the flavor of Dubliner, akin to a subtly-sweet, parmesan meets sharp cheddar, to be best suited to the apples.

The vinaigrette features honey and minced shallots, adding to the savory-sweet mix that characterizes the salad. White wine vinegar adds a mild zing, without overpowering the unique components at play in this dish, which makes a fantastic appetizer, lunch, or even supper aside a tear of crusty baguette.

Apple and Arugula Salad with Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette

Yields 2 Servings

1 small granny smith apple
3 cups torn arugula leaves (stems removed)
2-4 ounces shaved Dubliner cheese
2 tablespoons walnuts

Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp shallot, finely minced
1 tsp honey


Rinse and dry arugula greens. Rinse and halve the apple, remove core, thinly slice and toss in with greens. Delicately shave Dubliner into greens using the single-blade side of a box grater. Toss in walnuts.

Combine ingredients for vinaigrette in a small glass mason jar, seal and shake vigorously until liquids have emulsified. Pour over salad, toss and serve.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane October 17, 2010 at 12:01 PM

“Please pass the Guiness, things just got turned up a notch.”

Although Emeril Lagasse is not Irish, I’m sure he would approve.

Martin M Eyllon October 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I’m lucky enough to get to taste almost all the delicacies Mara comes up with and I can sum up with just one word: scrumptious!

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