Even though new restaurants seem to be opening in Raleigh faster than ever these days, Poole’s Diner is still one of the most popular places in town. Chef & owner Ashley Christiansen doesn’t seem to be losing any steam herself…not with four restaurants+ one on the horizon, a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge & a newly earned James Beard Award under her belt.
A while back, we went to Poole’s for Tom’s birthday & that night I ordered an awesome avocado salad with red onions, Pink Lady apples, buttermilk blue cheese & Marcona almonds with a maple mustard vinaigrette. The combination was sweet & salty & tangy & rich all at the same time…a combination we’ve recreated at home over & over again, adding peppery arugula as the salad base, to both bulk it up to main dish status & cut a little of the avocado’s richness.
This isn’t so much a recipe for the salad as it is for the dressing–we’ve finally gotten it just right & have taken the time to actually measure the ingredients & write them down! The salad itself is a different story. Each time we make it, we add different amounts of arugula, avocado, apple, etc. depending on what we have & what we feel like, so I’ll just list the ingredients below in order of quantity–largest first.
ARUGULA, AVOCADO, APPLE SALAD WITH RED ONION, BLUE CHEESE, MARCONA ALMONDS & MAPLE MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
apples, Pink Lady if available, cored & thinly sliced
red onion, cut in half & very thinly sliced
blue cheese, crumbled
Marcona almonds, chopped
maple mustard vinaigrette, recipe below
Using the arugula as a bed, top with remaining ingredients & drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
MAPLE MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
makes about 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons dark maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, & vinegar until combined. Continue whisking & slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until everything is smooth & emulsified. Season with salt & pepper to taste.