On a fall or winter evening, I love to throw together a robust green salad with a bit of protein, served with a loaf of crusty bread on the side. Most garden greens prefer cool weather, and if there’s still a head of lettuce to pick, in it goes, supplemented by even hardier fare, such as spinach, Swiss chard, and kale — all of them salad-worthy. Sharp cheddar tops this green salad with apples, along with a pungent onion vinaigrette.
• 1 small onion, peeled
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
• 1 large head green lettuce
• 1/4 pound large-leaved spinach
• 1/4 pound sharp cheddar
• Black pepper, freshly ground
• 4 unpeeled red apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1. Cut the onion in half crosswise and grate one side with a zester or the smallest holes on a box grater. (Be careful with your fingers!)
2. Measure out 1/2 teaspoon of the pulp and place in a small, lidded jar.
3. Add the vinegar, olive oil, and salt, and set the mixture aside to steep.
4. Wash the lettuce and spinach and spin-dry carefully, or roll up in cloth kitchen towels.
5. Tear the lettuce into pieces. Stack the spinach leaves and slice them into narrow ribbons.
6. Just before serving your salad with apples and cheese, combine the lettuce and spinach in a wide, shallow salad bowl.
7. Shake the jar of dressing vigorously (with the lid screwed on tightly) to fully emulsify.
8. Pour over the apple salad, using just enough to coat the leaves without making them soggy.
9. Grate the cheese onto a plate and sprinkle half of it over the salad, along with a generous grinding of pepper, and toss.
10. Add the rest of the cheese and toss briefly, tasting for salt and pepper.
11. Sprinkle the apples over the top but don’t toss, lest they all sink to the bottom. Just enough will fall through the leaves as the salad is served.
For more delicious apples and onions recipes and more about growing varieties of onions and apple varieties, visit: