In my opinion, a truly good green salad is a rare find. Balancing the main ingredient, lettuce, with enough of the other things is the magic. And yes, this salad performs that trick!
This recipe goes beyond the typical salad fixings of chopped carrots and cucumber to include seared apples and cherry tomatoes. I have to tell you that the seared fruit is scrumptious in this salad. There is no comparison. Each bite of cherry tomato bursts in your mouth, almost making you forget you are eating lettuce.
Dreaming Of Cherry Tomato Bites
I have a funny story about the cherry tomatoes. The moral is: you should be careful about the size of your cherry tomatoes, because some are definitely bigger than others!
I didn’t realize the potential problem, and bought some tiny-tiny grape tomatoes to make this salad one day. I seared them off in a bit of oil on high heat and then placed them in a bowl to cool. Looking at them, and dreading the task of peeling their skins, I sweetly asked my husband to help. In a rare moment of graciousness on the domestic front, he agreed.
To my surprise, he spent an entire hour peeling the tomatoes in front of the TV.
It was pretty cute to watch him struggle with his big fingers, along with his perfectionist attitude, to get every single last scrap of peel off those tomatoes!
I know I would have gotten the job done in less than a quarter of the time. But he was very happy, and we enjoyed the tomatoes in the salad very much.
From now on though, I will look for larger tomatoes. They actually aren’t hard to peel.
Apples And Goat Cheese, With The Cherry Tomatoes
About the apples, this recipe renders them sweet and savory at the same time. It is the perfect taste of winter brightness. Cooking brings out the apple's natural sweet flavor, and the searing adds savory umami flavor. With a bit of salt added, you are set with beautiful wedges of flavor bombs.
Goat cheese is also the perfect pairing with apples and tomatoes. It is like a match made in flavor heaven. To use the goat cheese, just separate off tiny chunks from your goat cheese log. Do not worry about the rustic shapes, as it all works for this salad.Goat cheese pairs perfectly with seared apples and cherry tomatoes. A match made in flavor heaven.Click To Tweet
The final piece in this simple salad is the dressing. I like a sophisticated Red Wine Vinaigrette. My recipe is more on the vinegary side with added dijon mustard. It is the perfect complement for the savory and sweet fruits, and smooth goat cheese. However, any vinaigrette will do. And in a pinch, straight olive oil and balsamic will do just fine too.
I also recommend dressing your salad with finishing salt, and a bit of cracked black pepper for extra zing and pop.
I hope you make this salad, and that you enjoy the natural sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and apples brightening up your salad days.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Recipe for Seared Apple and Cherry Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese
- 1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, portion ½ tablespoon, then ½ tablespoon
- 1 package cherry tomatoes, about 25
- 2 small apples, cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese
- Himalayan pink salt, to taste
- ¼ cup vinaigrette
- Prep your lettuce and place it in a mixing bowl. Wash cherry tomatoes and dry them on a clean tea towel. Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a small non-stock skillet on high heat. Add cherry tomatoes and pinch of salt. Shake the pan, and then allow the tomatoes to rest and sear on the pan for a couple minutes. Shake and sear a second time. The tomatoes are done when you notice the tomato skins have bursted. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool.
- Heat the same pan on high heat with the remaining oil. Add the prepared apples and a pinch of salt. Sear until nicely browned a couple minutes on each side. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl to cool.
- Prepare your vinaigrette if you are making it from scratch. See my recipe for Red Wine Vinaigrette, a Salad Dressing Primer, if you like.
- Remove and discard the skins from the tomatoes using your fingers.
- Dress the greens with ¼ cup dressing, tossing with your fingers or gently with two large spoons. Transfer greens to a serving bowl. Arrange the tomatoes, apples, and goat cheese attractively on top of the greens. Drizzle more dressing onto the cheese and fruits if you desire. Finish with a bit of salt and pepper.