It's funny how ideas for recipes just pop into my head as I pick out produce at the market. If a particular fruit or vegetable looks strikingly fresh or colorful, that's usually my starting point. In this case though, it was the flowers that got me. The gorgeous purple/red hue had me instantly envisioning the recipe for this Apple Carpaccio with Arugula and Blue Cheese. Radicchio leaves are the base for thinly sliced, juicy apples that are topped with peppery arugula, rich tangy blue cheese and layered with tart cranberries and sweet candied walnuts. Is your mouth watering yet? Not only is the presentation simply stunning, the combination of flavors is nothing short of "chef's kiss!"
What is Carpaccio
If you're not familiar with carpaccio, it's an Italian dish, served as an appetizer that's made with very thin slices of raw beef drizzled with lemon juice. It's a very delicate dish that is rustic and simple, yet extremely flavorful. Keeping in the spirit of Spoonful of Plants, I thought it would be fun to create a carpaccio made with plant-based ingredients. Let's get to it.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Radicchio- I'm usually not to big a fan, but the bitterness is toned down with the sweetness of the apples and creaminess of the blue cheese. You'll want to pick out the best leaves for layering.
- Apples- I use Gala apples for this recipe. I slice them with my OXO mandolin slicer at ⅛" to get them uniformly sliced.
- Arugula- The peppery flavor and texture of the leaves work beautifully in this recipe.
- Blue Cheese- I used Roth Buttermilk Blue Cheese for this recipe because it's creamy with just the right amount of tang, so it doesn't overpower the other ingredients.
- Dried Cranberries- Slightly sweet and tart, they add another dimension of flavor and chewy texture to the dish.
- Candied Walnuts- They happen to be one of my favorite toppers for autumn salads like this one, perfectly sweet, nutty and crunchy.
- Simple Vinaigrette- I whisk together a little olive oil with a splash of apple cider vinegar and seasonings to spoon over the carpaccio.
- Lemon- Fresh lemon juice will help the apple slices from turning brown too fast.
How To Make Apple Carpaccio with Arugula and Blue Cheese
This dish may look fancy but it couldn't be easier to put together! You just need a little bit of time to slice the apples and dip them in lemon juice. Once that's done the dish comes together quickly.
- Peel the radicchio leaves and place them on a platter.
- Slice the apples in half first, remove the stem. Slice with mandolin slicer (the seeds will fall likely fall out while doing this). Dip apple slices in lemon juice.
- Place the apples on top of the radicchio leaves.
- Layer with arugula, blue cheese, cranberries and walnuts.
- Spoon on a few tablespoons of vinaigrette. Garnish with some seasonal flowers if you want to be extra fancy!
Apple Carpaccio Making Tips and Substitutions
My suggestion is to make this dish right before serving it. Because apples oxidize quickly, dipping them in lemon juice will help keep the dish looking fresh for awhile. However, even when doing this sometimes the apples will still turn slightly yellowish. The doesn't make the apples taste any different, but from a presentation standpoint you'd probably want to avoid this. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day or two.
If you don't like blue cheese, goat cheese would be a suitable substitution.
I would image any variety of apple would work well for this recipe. Let me know if you try something other than Gala!
Arugula is the best choice for this dish in my opinion because of the leaf size and flavor profile. But frisée would work well too. I would avoid using larger leaf lettuces.
I can't think of a prettier dish to present at your holiday table this year! What do you think?
Don't forget to tag me on social media with all your Spoonful of Plants creations!
If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy this Kale and Apple Salad.
Apple Carpaccio with Arugula and Blue Cheese
- 1 Mandolin slicer
- 1 large circular platter
- 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 medium size Gala apples **do NOT peel the apple. remove stem then slice apples in half from the top and right down the center of the apple. carefully slice with mandolin ⅛" thick. discard any seeds.**
- 3 cups arugula
- 2 heads radicchio peel and discard the first outer layer and use the freshest looking leaves. rinse and pat dry.
- ½ cup blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbled
- ⅓ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup crushed candied walnuts or pecans
- 1 lemon juiced
- Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- Squeeze out juice from one lemon into a medium size bowl.
- Place the radicchio leaves on the outer edges of a large platter.
- Slice each apple ** see notes on how to slice above** then immediately dip into the lemon juice. Shake off any excess juice.
- Place the apples starting on the inner edges of the radicchio, and layer towards the center of the platter.
- Next layer the arugula in the center of the apple carpaccio.
- Sprinkle with the blue cheese, cranberries, walnuts. Don't be afraid to add more if you like.
- Spoon the the vinaigrette over the entire dish.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 30 minutes prior to serving.