This salad is healthy and balanced! I love the crispy bite from the apples, Belgian endive and chopped pecans, combined with the chewy dried apricots and nutty quinoa grains. Finished with a refreshing Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette for herby and citrus zing!Jump to Recipe
Are you on a New Year’s Health kick like everyone else I know, including me!!?
Yep, it’s a pretty obligatory cycle. November and December we spend eating, treating, and enjoying. Then in January we are kicking ourselves in the ass trying to reel in damage done from the binge of excess over the last 8 weeks!
But not to worry, this recipe is going to get you one step closer those health and fitness goals you’ve set for yourself!
This easy-to-make healthy salad calls for just a handful of fresh ingredients and the rest are pantry stapes that you likely already have on hand!
Healthy Salad Ingredients
Baby Arugula– You could use romaine or red leaf or green leaf if you prefer.
Belgian Endive– Trader Joe’s has these easy little packages of 3, usually 2 green and one red. I love Endive in a salad, it has such a crunch! Just be sure to remove the core. Slice in half, then make a V-shaped cut at the base to remove. You will see it. Then horizontally slice endive heads into strips.
Quinoa– See, now this is why I keep a container of cooked quinoa in my fridge! For this salad recipe I used red quinoa, but any kind would do.
Pecans– Either or plain or candied. Honestly the candied would have an amazing compliment to the Blue Cheese and Apples, but if you are watching sugar intake, stick with regular. Walnuts would also be awesome!
Dried apricots– I’m sure you have plenty of dried fruits from the hundreds of cheese boards you made during the holidays! I did!! Dried cranberries would also work wonderfully!
Gala Apples– Any type of apple would do, I like the sweetness of the Gala for this salad, I think it compliments the funky blue cheese. But you could use a different variety or even a pear if you prefer.
Blue Cheese– Are you aware I’m a huge fan of the Blue? Well, I am and Roquefort is one of my top picks. If you don’t have a blue, I think goat cheese or feta would also be good choices!
Incredibly easy to whip up, this tart and tangy salad recipe is tempered with just the right amount of sweet honey to balance out the citrusy lemon.
Ingredients for Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette :
Shallots– Minced so very finely, they practically disappear into the salad while adding seamlessly blended aromatic bite.
Lemon Juice- I highly recommend using freshly squeezed
Dijon Mustard– I love the complex tang that dijon adds to dressing
Olive Oil– Always good quality, extra virgin!
Honey– You could also use agave nectar or maple syrup
Tarragon, fresh or dried -Dried Herbs are more concentrated than fresh, so if you are using fresh bump up the amount from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.
Salt and Pepper to taste, but you will likely need about 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 of pepper
This salad would be a meal on it’s own, but would also make a great side dish to some of my other recipes:
Arugula & Quinoa Salad with Apple & Apricot
- 4 oz baby arugula
- 3 Belgian Endive core removed and sliced
- 1½ cup red quinoa cooked
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ½ cup dried apricots chopped
- 2 gala apples diced
- 3 oz Blue Cheese crumbles Roquefort
Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette
- 1` tbsp shallots finely minced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1½ tsp dijion mustard
- 1 tsp dried tarragon if using fresh- 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp honey
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
- Combine arugula, Belgian endive, and quinoa and dressing in large salad bowl. Toss to incorporate and coat with dressing.
- Top dressed leaves with prepared apples, blue cheese, pecans, and apricots.
- Serve as main course or as a salad course.