Arugula and apples is a nice combination of flavors because the bitterness of the greens pairs nicely with sweet seasonal apples. There are so many varieties of apples and I think it is a matter of preference when choosing what apples work best in this salad, but I prefer a crisp apple for great texture and a bit of crunch.
The vinaigrette in this recipe is made in a skillet by first, toasting the pecans over direct heat and adding a little lemon, agave and vinegar. The mild tang of the dressing makes the pecans pop with flavor and when poured directly over the salad, slightly wilt the greens. To finish, I shave fresh Manchego cheese over the top and serve it family style. It doesn’t get much better than that.
5 cups arugula, washed and dried
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1/2 cup raw pecans
1 sprig rosemary
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 ounces Manchego cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1. In a large skillet, add 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the rosemary and clove of garlic and cook for 1 minute — infusing the oil.
2. Then, add the pecans and stir to combine. Toast the pecans in the oil for 2-4 minutes or until deep golden brown.
3. Remove the rosemary and garlic and turn the heat to low.
4. Next, squeeze the juice from the lemon and be careful about the steam!
5. Then, add the agave and vinegar and stir to combine.
6. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the dressing and turn the heat to simmer, keep warm while preparing the salad. Arrange the arugula on a large platter or in a bowl. Place the apples slices on top of the greens.
6. Pour the warm dressing over the arugula and apples. Top the entire salad with the shaved Manchego cheese.
7. Serve the Arugula, Manchego & Apple Salad. Enjoy!