It feels like we’re in the middle of things. Like we have to begrudgingly set down our watermelon and water balloons and pick up our infinity scarf and pumpkin spice latte. Seasons don’t happen in a snap. There’s a transition period… a kind of grace that allows us to take a deep breath, absorb our days of sunshine and beach breezes to ready ourselves for the crisp nights and spiced cider. What we crave in the transition can be tricky. I find myself gobbling all of the peaches and dreaming of apple fritters. Truth be told, I’m always dreaming of apple fritters, that’s no surprise.
This salad feels like a lovely transition. Fresh apple and fennel make it easy to move into Autumn. It’s no time to crank up the oven for a roast when I find myself still craving fresh and bright flavors.
We’re also adding fresh arugula for its peppery notes, salty roasted pistachios, sweet dried apricots, and salty parmesan cheese. It’s all about balance!
This recipe is inspired by Chef Nathan Lyon. His seasonal cookbook is a staple in my kitchen.
Here’s the thing about salad. It’s often about lettuce and tomato going into a bowl, being choked down before we eat a giant pizza.
This is not that salad. This salad is much more delicate and pretty… but we’re still going to need a bowl.
Into a bowl: chopped arugula, thinly sliced fennel, thinly sliced apple, small diced red onions.
We don’t make a formal dressing for this salad. We just drizzle lemon, vinegar, and olive oil.
Tossed with salt and pepper, apricots and pistachios.
This salad has a really lovely balance of sweet, salt, and spice.
It’s also very versatile! Substitute currants or dried cranberries for the apricots. Add spinach and parsley instead of arugula. Try a balsamic vinaigrette instead of lemon. This salad can be exactly what you want it to be.
What’s also great about this salad is that most of it can be assembled long before it’s served. Everything but the greens can be tossed together and left in the refrigerator for a day and tossed with the arugula (or your preferred green) just before serving. Easy breezy as we transition into Autumn.