There is just something about spiralizing that makes me feel giddy. Cranking out those endless ribbon-like swirls just makes me smile! Zucchini, cucumbers, butternut squash! It's so much fun!
But, for some reason, I've never spiralized an apple...until now (what was I thinking or NOT thinking?!). With apples busting out of my crisper drawer and the desire to create something fun, the idea for this salad was born. So, I grabbed a few and got to work.
I'm a huge fan of keeping some healthy grains like quinoa, ready to go in my fridge. This way I can mix them into salads for weekday meals. I had some nutty, earthy-flavored heirloom red quinoa just begging to be eaten, so I combined it with some bright green arugula and those gorgeous apple strands, cranberries and some walnuts (the perfect example of how simple it is to take fresh ingredients and make them into something special).
But the true star of the salad is this fig and shallot dressing! All I can say is... you really need this in your life! It's made with fig spread so it's thick, rich and slightly sweet. Apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard give a tangy little kick, while the crisp, sweet onion flavor of the shallots creates a savory balance.
Interestingly, the salad holds up pretty well even after a few hours (probably because arugula is a tougher leaf). The apples may turn slightly brown, but the vinegar in the dressing helps slow down this process a bit. So, if you make it in the morning, you could very well have an awesome lunch later on. The flavors intensify the longer the dressing sits in the salad (the quinoa really soaks it up)!
I hope this salad puts a smile on your face this week! Enjoy!
Spiralized Apple and Quinoa Salad with Fig Shallot Dressing
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- ½ package or box arugula
- 1 large apple spiralized using the attachment for thin spaghetti type noodles
- ¼ cup or more dried cranberries
- ¼ cup or more chopped walnuts
- 1 heaping tsp of fig jam or spread
- 1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey dijon mustard
- 1 shallot minced
- ¼-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch coarse salt
- pinch pepper
- For the dressing, combine fig spread, vinegar, mustard, shallot, oil, salt, pepper in a bowl, whisk together and set aside.
- Combine quinoa, arugula, cranberries, walnuts and apples in a large bowl and pour dressing over top.
- Toss gently to combine and serve.