Emerald Salad

So, a healthy salad recipe might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about St. Patrick’s Day eats. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying this delicious–and green!–salad recipe!

The flavors are truly, shall we say, as perfect as a four-leaf clover? And if you’re indulging in some of those not-so-healthy St. Patty’s Day activities, this may help buffer the beer and keep you going.

Emerald Salad Recipe with Pickled Berries, Caramelized Apples, Irish Cheese and Smoked Mustard Vinaigrette

By: Jeanette Maier, creator of Fancy Girl Table

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients

1 piece of sliced ginger, ½ inch thick
8 pink peppercorns
3 allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
1 ½ cups water
1-pint blackberries
1-tablespoon butter
4 medium red- or pink-skinned lady apples (such as Pink Lady) cut in half and seeds removed
1-teaspoon sugar
1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4-teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups dark green arugula
¼ cup toasted pecans
4 ounces Irish cheese, such as Cashel Blue

 Directions

In a saucepan, add the ginger, spices, bay leaf, sugar, salt, vinegar & water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Cool the brine. Pour over the black berries that have been placed in a large jar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 days, but one week is best.
Cook the lady apples: in a skillet heat the butter. When hot, add the lady apples and sprinkle with the sugar.

Cooked the lady apples over medium heat, turning them occasionally. Cook until softened and lightly browned.

Make the dressing: Place oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper in a blender; blend until well combined. You will have dressing leftover for more salads.

Assemble the salad by tossing the arugula, apples, and pickled berries with ¼ cup of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more dressing if necessary. Top with crumbled cheese and pecans.

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Photo: Jeanette Maier