We had such a nice time last night! Rebecca and Mihai invited us for a potluck dinner and Scrabble game. They provided the appetizers and side dishes; we brought bread and a salad (which played to rave reviews—see below); Terri and Chris brought the entree (a spicy Cajun shrimp and rice dish whose name escapes me); and Pia and John brought a delicious carrot cake for dessert. (I forgot to bring my camera, otherwise I'd have shown you some lovely shots of each course.) We had plenty of great conversation and laughs (and lots to drink). The game was fun—I used to play all the time, but I can't recall playing at all since the kids came along (add that to the list . . .). Andy and I won! We agreed to host the next time.
So, I made an Apple, Dried Cherry, and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing. It was excellent! I'm not a huge fan of maple flavor (except on pancakes), but this was very subtle and delicious.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or other white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 8-ounce bag mixed baby greens
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into matchstick-size strips
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Whisk mayonnaise, maple syrup, vinegar, and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil until mixture thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss greens, apples, cherries, and 1/2 cup walnuts in large bowl to combine. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide salad equally among plates. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and serve.