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dressing to use with smoked apple salad?

Now that it's smoker/grilling season, I'm looking for a dressing to use with a salad we like to make. I used smoked apples, bleu cheese, and mixed greens. I've been using Drew's smoked tomato dressing, but I'd like to use a homemade dressing instead. Does anyone have thoughts on what might work well on this salad?

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  1. I would think just a really simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a little mustard would work!

    1. How do you make smoked apples? The idea sounds delicious, but I've never heard of this before!

      What about doing something like reducing down some apple cider (or apple juice) and then mixing that with some cider vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper, shallots.... it needs an herb of some sort, maybe tarragon or thyme? Would fried sauteed until crisp pancetta added to dressing play up the smokey flavors?

      1. What about a warm bacon dressing? I think smoked apples and bacon would be a nice combination.

        1. These are great ideas. I had thought about the bacon dressing, but I don't eat meat. I've been wondering if "facon" would work - we'll see. I also love the apple cider vinegar idea. Mellicita, I actually have a smoker and use it to make the apples. In theory you could do it on a regular grill, using mesquite wood, but there is no cool smoking area on a regular grill and you don't really want to cook the apples through, but only give them that smoked flavor.

          2 Replies
          1. re: botanica

            Morningstar has a pretty good fake bacon.

            1. re: botanica

              Very interesting! I am so eager to try making smoked apples on my grill now!

            2. I think your salad sounds divine by the way.. I love apples and love to add them to my salads. I prefer granny smith with that tartness. I don't know if you'd like this but I can't get enough of a creamy balsamic vinegar that a restaurant owner taught me. Balsamic with bottled ranch dressing. I usually make my own ranch, but he uses the bottled and I swear I could eat bucket loads of his salad. You could try that if you're ok with a bottled quick fix.. What he does and I do, is add just a few tablespoons to the balsamic, the ranch just gives it a slightly creamy texture (don't make it all thick and white)with a saltiness and the balsamic is sweet. So its more balsamic than ranch, and you could even crumble some blue cheese in there...with fresh cracked pepper..Wow. I gotta try your version with smoked apples.

              1. I confess to being addicted to Frank Stitt's buttermilk vinaigrette. I would put it on that salad.

                1. How about a bbq mixed with apple butter? I also like Mellicita's idea of a mustard based dressing.

                  1. I do a raw apple salad that's dressed with just vinegar and honey, but I like my dressings tart, so most people would probably want to add oil. I've been using a light pomegranate vinegar by O, which goes really well with the apples, but I think it was a seasonal product. Occasionally, I'll mix it with yogurt, cuts the tartness, but I don't think it would work with the smokiness

                    1. I would use walnut oil balsamic( a really nice one) brown sugar fresh ginger and a little chopped cilanto.

                      1. I got this from Tyler Florence and --by toning down the sweetness a bit-- got a wonderful, wonderful dressing. I'm thinking the apple/maple thing might work well together:

                        Maple-balsamic dressing:
                        1 small shallot, finely diced
                        1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                        2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
                        1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                        1 teaspoons maple syrup (I used sugar free.)
                        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

                        He also added blue cheese, a sliced, ripe pear and pecans.