This is an incredibly easy, comforting and delicious salad that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a side dish. Roasting the shallots/red onions really helps to round out the typical harshness associated with onions and introduces a deeper, more caramelized and more complex flavor. I chose a mild, smooth and slightly firm goat cheese for creaminess, and played up the autumn flavours with the addition of cider to the vinaigrette. Be sure to check out the notes below for additional tips and suggested substitutions.
For the roasted shallots/red onions
400 grams (roughly 8 large shallots)
2 tbsp olive oil
30 mls medium sweet cider
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette
4 tbsp medium sweet cider
3 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tbsp crushed mustard seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
Baby kale leaves (or your preferred tender leafy greens)
Shredded purple cabbage
100 g walnut pieces
150 g goat cheese
Roasted shallots and/or red onions
Bunch of parsley (as much or little as you desire)
2 Pink Lady apples (or your favorite variety of apple), thinly sliced, chopped in chunks or wedges
Make the roasted shallots
- Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and Preheat to 180C / 356F
- Prepare the shallots and/or red onions by removing the papery skin on both ends with a knife. If you wish, you can slice a couple of them lengthways, but this is completely optional.
- Transfer to a baking dish and add the olive oil, apple cider, balsamic vinegar and rosemary sprigs. Toss to coat the shallots/red onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to the oven and allow to roast for about an hour or until the shallots/red onions are a lightly browned (not burned). Be sure to keep an eye on them and turn and base your shallots/onions halfway through the roasting time.
- Once the shallots are tender and browned to your liking, remove from the oven and add the butter. Allow it to melt before gently tossing the shallots/onions, ensuring they’re well coated. Set them aside to cool.
For the Vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until emulsified, which takes about a minute. Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a mason jar, or use another sealable container. Cover it, and shake until well combined.
In a serving or salad bowl, add your washed baby kale leaves (or whatever your preferred leafy greens are!), shredded purple cabbage, apple slices and parsley leaves. (Editor’s Note: Take a couple of tablespoons of the liquid from the roasted shallots and add to your salad mix before tossing. This is a completely optional but very delicious recommendation.) Toss to combine.
Transfer the desired amount of salad mix to each plate making sure to scoop enough apple pieces for each person’s plate, arrange a couple (or more) of roasted shallots/roasted red onions on top.
Dot chunks of goat cheese in and around the leaves and roasted shallots before topping with walnut pieces and drizzling with the apple cider vinaigrette. Alternatively, you can allow your guest to dress their salads with their desired amount of vinaigrette.
Editor’s Notes :
+ Vinaigrette will store in the fridge for up to a week.
+ Be sure to shake well before serving.
+ You can substitute your favourite nut in place of the walnuts. Pecans will work beautifully with this recipe. Feel free to substitute the baby kale leaves with your favourite leafy green. You’ll want to pick something flavorful and tender.
+I used Colman’s mustard powder in this recipe because I love the flavor. But if you aren’t able to find it, feel free to use Dijon mustard.
+If you opt not to use Pink Lady apples, you’ll want to substitute with another sweet and crisp variety.
+”Cider” refers to the alcoholic beverage, not the vinegar.
+For the dressing, I used the English Vintage Cider, a medium-sweet cider by Sainsbury’s. I know this is not available in the States; in this case, go for any other medium-sweet cider by whichever brand is local to you. If you’d like to keep your dressing alcohol-free, go for a non-alcoholic cider or use organic pressed apple juice in its place.