Liz Schmitt’s cooking changed dramatically following her husband’s heart attack in 2011. Now thirty-five pounds lighter, she adheres to a low-salt diet, avoids “white” foods and treasures every day with her now heart-healthy husband. She shares her recipes on her blog, Liz the Chef, and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Fresh figs are flooding the local markets and I love combining them in an autumnal salad with almonds, apple and a drizzle of honey-infused vinaigrette. Ripe Meyer lemons on our trees are few and far between this month, but I found one remaining among the green golf ball-sized crop that will ripen early next winter. I use lemons almost every day in my low-salt kitchen and have been making my own vinaigrette for years, trying to vary my ingredients, keeping salads seasonal yet low in sodium.
For my greens, I used a mixture of beet greens, baby spinach and kale. Originally, I made this salad using slices of goat cheese that I dipped and egg white and gently cooked in a bit of olive oil. Wanting to cut back on fat, calories, and cholesterol, I decided to simply add goat cheese crumbles instead.
- ½ cup unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
- 1 tablespoon organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon organic honey
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest - or the zest of any lemon
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups organic cool weather baby greens
- 8 organic, ripe black figs, halved
- ½ large, organic Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- Toast the chopped almonds in a small skillet over medium heat. As soon as you smell the almonds, give the skillet a shake and toast for one more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and lemon zest together in a large salad bowl.
- Add the greens, figs, apple, goat cheese crumbles and toasted almonds. Toss gently with the vinaigrette. Serve at once.