This doesn’t happen very often, but I had a very hard time deciding what to call this salad. I know, I know. You just call it what it is. But this salad isn’t just what it is. It morphs. Hmmm… maybe the “magical morphing salad” would have been good? This is one of my favorite things to throw together for a quick lunch, but it’s also one I make a lot to go with simple dinners. Also, for parties sometimes.
But the confusion doesn’t end there. If I don’t have nice crispy, sweet apples, I’ll use pears instead. I don’t always have goat cheese in the fridge, so a lot of the time I’ll use feta. Pecans are often replaced by walnuts, and the spring mix becomes arugula whenever I can find it. Avocados only make it in sometimes. You know, when they’re not still hard as rocks on my kitchen counter.
The dried cranberries are almost always there, because I almost always have them. Ditto for the lemon juice and olive oil dressing. But I can’t exactly call this a cranberry and lemon juice salad, now can I? That sounds…gross. I guess my point is that this salad makes a wonderful jumping off point and follows some sort of general equation: flavorful greens + sweet fruit + nuts for crunch + creamy cheese + chewy dried cranberries +tart dressing + whatever is in the fridge and kind of “goes”. These are guidelines, and I’m sharing them only because I enjoy this salad so much, it seems a shame not to. It’s an idea to get you started.
In the end, this is the combination that I had in the fridge, and thus, the combination I had for lunch. It was wonderful, as always. So here it is; do with it what you will!
- 3-4 cups spring mix lettuce
- juice of one lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium sweet, crispy apple, such as Gala, Honeycrisp, etc., cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 large-ish avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 oz soft goat cheese
In a medium-sized bowl, combine lemon juice and olive oil by giving it a couple of swishes with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the lettuce and the rest of the ingredients, and toss well. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice to taste.