But there are good reasons to give salad its due consideration. A salad adds some
critical lightness and crunch to a hearty meal. It can also be one of the vegetarian offerings that help non-meat-eaters make a real dinner out of what is often a meat-centered feast.
Salads can also be out-and-out beautiful, with very little work. Here, a few types of lettuces mingle with slivers of red onion, tart apples and cranberries, and creamy goat cheese, tied together with a zippy dressing. You could add some chopped pecans or walnuts, or slivered almonds on top if you like.
This stunner comes together in 20 minutes, and is a bowl of vibrant color and texture that seems anything but a postscript to the menu.
WINTER GREENS, APPLE, CRANBERRY AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon smooth or coarse Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large head Belgian endive, thinly sliced crosswise
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup baby arugula
½ red onion, thinly slivered
1 Granny Smith apple
½ cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
In a container, place the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, honey, and salt and pepper. Shake to combine well.
In a large bowl, place the endive, spinach, arugula and onions. Quarter and core the apple, then slice crosswise into thin slices. Add the apples and about ¾ of the cranberries to the bowl, and toss to combine. Shake the dressing once more, drizzle it over, and toss to coat the salad with the dressing.
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining cranberries and the goat cheese over it. Serve.
PER SERVING: 222 calories; 130 calories from fat; 14 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 17 mg cholesterol; 449 mg sodium; 17 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 6 g protein.