Source: Adapted from this recipe on Epicurious
This is one of my favorite salads. It is fairly simple, but elegant. I did some tweaking, but the basic salad is true to the recipe linked above. The first thing I did was to reduce the 1 cup of oil the original recipe calls for to about 2 tablespoons, while increasing the apple cider to make up the difference in liquid. I eye-ball the amount of almonds and goat cheese I use, based on how many I am serving, but I tend to use less than what the recipe calls for. I also use the dry method for roasting almonds, rather than messing with water (part of my candy phobia, I suppose). I simply heat the sugar and the almonds in a non-stick pan until the sugar begins to melt and coat the almonds. The sugar does tend to clump a bit, but it works well enough for me. I like to make a big batch and keep them on hand in the freezer.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water (see notes above)
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
4 cups apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 cup olive oil (I use 1/4 cup or less)
2 (5-ounce) bags mixed salad greens
12 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
dried cherries (I add dried cherries - they add a nice tartness, not to mention color )
For almonds: Place foil on work surface. Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Increase heat and boil without stirring until mixture turns deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 9 minutes. Mix in almonds. Immediately pour out onto foil, separating almonds with fork. Cool completely (mixture will harden).
For salad: Boil apple cider in heavy large saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 23 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl and chill until cold. Add vinegar, onion, mustard and poppy seeds. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Toss greens, cheese and almonds in bowl with enough dressing to coat; serve.
Makes 8 servings.
I talked about this recipe HERE.