Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette

May 2, 2013

<img alt="Green Salad with Blueberries & Apples"/>

I should call this the Monet salad.  I’m teasing, of course, but whenever I see varying tones of green and purple with touches of blue, I think of French Impressionist Claude Monet’s most famous and recognizable series of paintings — Waterlilies.

water-lilies-1919-8.jpg!HalfHD

To be accurate, I’d have to specify which waterlilies painting, there are so many created over many years spanning most seasons and at varying times of the day.  It’s impossible for me to choose a favorite.  Although I appreciate his more precise earlier work, what I enjoy more are the hazy, increasingly abstract pieces that were a result of the cataracts clouding his vision in later years.  Not only did they alter the clarity with which he saw the world, they distorted color as well.

It’s impossible not to think of taking time while we’re in Paris to see the work of Monet, my favorite Impressionist.  Although we aren’t planning a day trip to Giverny where he lived (a good reason to return to France some day) while we’re in Paris, we are planning on visiting a few museums.  It seems most people venture to the Musee de l’Orangerie where enormous, gently curving panels of waterlilies surround a light-filled gallery, but I’m tempted to take the tourist path less traveled and view the largest collection of his work at Musee Marmotten.  Regardless of the choice — and the popularity of the Waterlilies — I will wonder whether I will be able to see my favorites (in the public domain according to Copyright law of France):

The Garden of Monet at Argenteuil (1873)

the-garden-of-monet-at-argenteuil

Poppy Field, Argenteuil (1875)

poppy-field-argenteuil.jpg!HD

Poplars on the Banks of the River Epte, Seen from the Marsh (1892)

poplars-on-the-banks-of-the-river-epte-seen-from-the-marsh-1892

Houses at Argenteuil

houses-at-argenteuil

The Promenade, Woman with a Parasol (1875)

the-promenade-woman-with-a-parasol.jpg!HD


My husband bought me a large print of the one just above not too long after we were married, and so it is the best of all in my opinion.  I love all of the glorious light in it and the brilliance of the sky.

In the meantime, I’d love another plate of this Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette  I sprinkled with blue cheese and walnuts.  The salad isn’t exactly French, but the vinaigrette is a classic preparation which includes a bit of mustard.  When one of my husband’s younger brothers was marriednot too long ago, he and his bride honeymooned in Paris and brought back three small jars of flavored mustard.  I’ve used the Moutard au Noir or Black Mustard in this vinaigrette and it was just the right touch to make this salad truly exceptional.

<img alt="Mustard Chive Vinaigrette"/>

Start out by making the vinaigrette.  I have a small bunch of chives growing in a pot so I used those, but shallots or minced green onions would work just fine.

Mix all of the ingredients together except the oil.  Speaking of the oil, I used grapeseed oil (I’ll tell you why in my notes), but you can use extra virgin olive oil.

Then drizzle in the oil while whisking, or shake everything up in a jar.  You choose — I do both as it suits me.  Store in the fridge until ready to use.

<img alt="Avocado for Salad"/>

To make the salad, I used red onions because they’re pretty and I always have them.  They can be on the spicy side so taste a bit and decide how much you want to use.

Sliced snap peas went in because their crunchy, sweet taste is a good contrast to the other flavors in the salad.

I had to put an avocado in this because I love them, I had a fruit theme in mind from the start, and they add a healthy creamy consistency to the finished salad.

<img alt="Green Apple Matchsticks"/>

I love making apple matchsticks — they add a nice texture to a salad and the tartness of the green apples I used perfect.  But choose any apple you like.  You know what they say about an apple a day.

<img alt="Spinach for Salad"/>

I chose spinach for this salad because I like its mild flavor and it’s packed with nutrients.  But I also chose a more tart salad green — escarole.  To remove some of the bitterness that you may not enjoy, soak the leaves in ice water, then dry them thoroughly before adding them to the salad.  If you’re not one for bitter greens, then use the salad greens you enjoy most.

<img alt="Escarole"/>

<img alt="Escarole in Ice Water"/>

Drying Salad Greens

Drying Salad Greens

Finish the salad with blueberries, a sprinkle of good blue cheese and some walnuts.  If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, use a mild, soft goat cheese.

<img alt="Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette"/>

Drizzle on some of the mustard chive vinaigrette, sprinkle a few more blueberries, cheese, and walnuts for each serving and voila!

<img alt="Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette"/>

A salad perfect for a lovely sunny day outside on the patio.  Spread a table cloth, invite a friend or two to share and relax.

<img alt="Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette"/>

Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This beautiful salad is a delicious combination of sweet and tart flavors and is packed with healthy ingredients. The vinaigrette is the perfect finishing touch.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, Healthy
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the Vinaigrette
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 T brown mustard
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 anchovy, mashed
  • ¼ chives, chopped
  • 2 T grapeseed oil
  • salt & pepper
  • For the Salad
  • 3 c baby spinach
  • 2 c escarole
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • 1 c snap peas, sliced
  • ½ avocado, cubed
  • ½ green apple, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ c blue cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ walnut pieces
Instructions
  1. Make the vinaigrette first by mixing the sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, anchovy and chives.
  2. Drizzle in the oil while whisking until well blended.
  3. Taste, then season to your liking with salt & pepper.
  4. To make the salad, soak the escarole in ice water for 30 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients. Dry well afterwards.
  5. Combine the spinach and escarole in a large bowl.
  6. Add the other ingredients finishing with the blue cheese and walnuts.
  7. Divide among plates before dressing, or if you prefer, pour the vinaigrette over the entire salad and toss well before serving.
  8. To get the best taste of all ingredients, thoroughly chop.
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • This salad happened because when I unpacked my grocery bags one day, I saw the color of the greens, apples, blueberries, and onions and truly did think of those “Monet colors” I mentioned above.  I love them so much our bedroom sported them a few years.  They’re quite calming.
  • Although I’ve long been a fan of the walnut-apple-blue cheese flavor combo in just about anything, I wondered about what the blueberries would bring to the perfect bite of this salad.  I’ve never loved raw blueberries — I eat them because they’re incredibly good for my body.  They have a sweet tartness that fits perfectly with this blend.
  • I love a good vinaigrette — especially when there is a bit of mustard involved.  This recipe is adapted from one in a favorite cookbook:  Parisian Home Cooking by Michael Roberts.  There’s just the right amount of added cream in this but if you want to exclude it, add the avocado to the dressing instead of the sour cream and blend it.  It will be creamy.
  • You can read about the health benefits of grapeseed oil in more detail here.  It’s packed with so many good nutrients and has been found to raise the level of antioxidants in our blood — something which is believed to have an impact on cancer.
  • The walnuts and blueberries ramp up the antioxidants in this salad also.
  • If you’re in a salad rut, I highly recommend that you try this.  I loved every bite of it!  Definitely a new favorite — a very healthy and beautiful favorite.

Green Salad with Blueberries, Apples & Mustard Chive Vinaigrette

 

 

 

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Foster Coleman May 2, 2013

What a beautifully delicious salad! I adore Monet – I have many prints throughout my home. I love the tie-in!

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kellypea May 2, 2013

I had fun sifting through Monet’s works to find just the right match. Talk about time flying. Such an amazing artist.

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Kalyn May 2, 2013

A gorgeous salad. I love escarole, but I’ve never had it in anything quite this fabulous.

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kellypea May 2, 2013

Thanks, Kalyn! I was tempted to use yogurt instead of the sour cream, but…Yes, the escarole is perfect in this. I need to try it in something other than salads, though. Any ideas?

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Winnie May 2, 2013

I could stare at this post all day!

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Joanne May 2, 2013

Monet is one of my favorite artists…I love all of those hazy colors also and how the greens, blues, and purples all kind of run into each other so they’re discernible but not. This salad is just as beautiful with all the flavors coalescing into something so healthy and delicious. Can’t go wrong with a fruity salad, that’s for sure!

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Winnie May 3, 2013

What a pretty salad. I can see why you named it as you did. I can’t wait to try it. Made me smile and recall my trip to Paris when I got to see his paintings. So pretty!

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kellypea May 17, 2013

Thanks Winnie! I had fun making it. Glad to have you remembering Paris. I’m so excited to finally be going. Stay tuned for photos of our trip. I hope to get some lovely ones to share.

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grace May 4, 2013

i don’t think of france when i think of mustard, but i suppose i should. ‘poupon’ ain’t german, am i right? :) seriously, i love this salad. the apple sticks are probably my favorite part–you don’t see those too often!

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kellypea May 17, 2013

I have a fettish for those apple sticks. With a nice, sharp knife they’re easy to make :) And you do know there is a little town in France called Dijon, right? Hahaha!

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I WIlkerson May 13, 2013

I am considering doing a week of salads to get ready for summer and this certainly looks meal-worthy!

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kellypea May 17, 2013

I’m smiling because I often tell my husband we’re doing a week of salads. I think we could easily eat just salad we enjoy them so much. Happy almost summer to you and thanks so much for stopping by!

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Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} May 16, 2013

After I saw the salad and then the monet, I can see the resemblance. I am so loving your dressing – this is a must make! Have a brilliant weekend!

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kellypea May 17, 2013

Lisa, it was quite the accident, but I had a lot of fun making the connection. The salad is truly excellent, and yes, that dressing is a keeper. Thanks for stopping by.

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I WIlkerson July 17, 2013

Looks beautiful and full of flavor with the anchovy and blue cheese. I always keep a tube of anchovy paste in case I feel a need to add it to something!

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kellypea July 24, 2013

Thanks! Anchovy paste does come in handy. I don’t have it as much as I’d like so end up with little frozen bags of anchovies. Not exactly the best situation!

Reply

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