Apple Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate & Blue Cheese

The moment I spotted this picture of an avocado salad tucked into a hollowed-out apple, I knew I had to try making it myself immediately…and often. First, because I love every single thing in this dish (apples, avocados, pomegranates, and blue cheese), and second, because few things are better than an appetizer that’s sure to elicit gasps when you set it down on the dinner table…but that takes five minutes flat to whip up and requires zero time spent over a stove.

I didn’t actually check out the original recipe before getting started on this - I just worked from the image - so I ended up using a different dressing, going for lemon-olive oil over the apple cider vinegar used in the original. But that’s in keeping with the spirit of this dish: the deal here is that you can be pretty improvisational, adding things like candied nuts, bacon, different types of cheese, or bits of dried fruit to this salad. It’d all be delicious.

APPLE SALAD with AVOCADO, POMEGRANATE & BLUE CHEESE (serves 2)

What you need:

2 apples of your choice (I used McIntosh; Gala would work really well, too)

1 avocado, diced

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Salt & pepper

What you do: 

1. Slice off top of each apple and set aside. Slice off the bottoms so that they rest flat on the table, then use a small paring knife to cut the center out of each apple, being careful not to break the shell.

2. Chop the centers of the apples into 1/4” pieces, then mix in a small bowl with the rest of the ingredients and pour your salad into your apple bowls. Set the reserved apple tops on a slight angle, as shown in the photos.

For more apple info (including the best apples for eating and for baking), click here.

Lunch Inspiration: Cheese & Apple Quesadillas

I’ve been eating these all week long, whenever the mood hits me. They take…maybe five minutes to make? Maybe. And you can whip up a thin one (just cheese and apple) for a snack, or add sliced turkey if you’re looking for something a little more substantial.

Just butter the outside of two tortillas, and layer in sliced apple (peeled, unpeeled; doesn’t matter), whatever cheese you like (I’d do Brie with green apple, or cheddar with Macintosh - pictured above), and turkey, if using. Place in a frying pan, cover, and toast for a minute or two on each side, and you’re done.

(Click here for Chicken, Pear & Goat Cheese Turnovers, for no real reason other than that now I’m thinking about fruit and cheese and pastry, and I want to make one.)