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salad with apple and blue cheese croutons

Crunchy apples and tangy blue cheese are a great combination for almost anything, and work really well here in this salad. For a slight variation, serve the salad warm with by sautéing the apple slices in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter until caramelized.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons apple cider
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Blue Cheese Croutons
2 1/2-inch thick slices French baguette, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-2 ounces creamy Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon walnuts, roughly chopped
4 ounces mixed greens
1 small apple, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a small bowl, combine apple cider, vinegar, mustard and sugar until whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Lay bread cubes flat, in one layer, as close as you can.. Sprinkle blue cheese on tops of cubes, trying to get as much cheese right on top of bread as possible. Season with salt and pepper. Toast in oven until golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes. Halfway through, place walnuts on another baking sheet and toast for about 4 minutes until golden brown.
4. In a bowl, toss salad greens with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and add apple slices. Top with blue cheese croutons and toasted walnuts. Pour additional vinaigrette over top of salad and serve immediately.

Serves 1.

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