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From Cooks Illustrated: Main course salads make a simple, quick weeknight dinner. Typically, they involve little more effort than chopping a few ingredients and blending vinaigrette. We wanted to make a seasonal salad in which the sweet flavor of smoked turkey took center stage. Here’s what we discovered: Test Kitchen Discoveries Have the deli counter cut the slices of turkey extra thick; cut the slices into thick strips to serve. Mix together tender green or red leaf lettuce with shredded red cabbage for flavor and textural contrast. Tart dried cherries or cranberries add sharpness to balance the sweet-tasting turkey and a chewy texture to contrast the tender greens, crisp apples, and crunchy nuts. Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat to intensify their flavor. NOTE: If you like, walnuts can be used in place of almonds in this main-course salad.
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2⁄3 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 small heads of lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (red leaf lettuce or green leaf lettuce)
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 1 apple, cored and cut into 2-inch strips
- 4 slices deli turkey, smoked kind, thick, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 1⁄2 cups blue cheese, brumbled
- 1⁄3 cup almonds, slivered, toasted
- Whisk honey and vinegar in medium microwave-safe bowl. Add cherries, cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic, and microwave on high until cherries are plump, about 1 minute. Whisk in oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cool dressing to room temperature.
- Toss lettuce, cabbage, and apple with dressing in large bowl. Divide salad among individual plates and top each with portion of turkey, cheese, and nuts. Serve.