If by now you don’t think my life is tied to Housewives then this story will have you convinced. Last year some of you will remember I resolved to spend less money on things in 2014 and more on experiences. With two trips to the Jersey Shore, 2 trips to Atlantic City, and a few spa days under my belt it’s safe to say I’ve accomplished that. My enrichment list got even more interesting in August when I did something I have always dreamed of…I took cooking classes.
My local Sur La Table was offering lunchtime classes for $9.95 as a super low priced summer special. Not only did we get hands on training, but we got to eat too! All three classes I left more than satisfied. Just having lunch for under 10 bucks is a bargain.
The very first class I took was a summer salad class. We made four salads. Our instructor was a bubbly, energetic, professional chef named Marian who looks, sounds, and gesticulates just like Bethenny Frankel. The first class I took of hers I mentioned that she reminded me of my favorite former RHONY. A few weeks later I found myself in another of Marian’s classes and my twitter followers wanted to see a picture of the Bethenny look alike. When I asked her permission to post her picture, and explained why, the conversation turned to Housewives. Well, not only is chef Marian a huge fan, but she’s been on the show! A few years back Jacqueline Laurita hosted a Christmas party on camera and Chef Marian was the caterer. Small world, huh? Here’s my new favorite salad recipe…thanks to Chef Marian and Sur La Table!
Apricot and Arugula Salad (adapted from Sur La Table )
*arugula, washed and dried
*4 apricots, pitted and halved
*sliced or crumbled goat cheese
* sliced almonds (optional)
Brush apricots with olive oil and caramelize in a pan (medium heat about 3 minutes on each side). Toss arugula in bowl with vinaigrette and nuts. Arrange apricots and goat cheese and serve.
*1 small clove minced garlic
*1 tablespoon dijon mustard (“Excuse me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”)
* 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
*1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*pinch of sea salt
*dash of pepper
Put garlic, mustard, and balsamic vinegar in medium bowl. Whisk well until combined. Continued whisking while slowly adding olive oil and continue whisking until oil is emulsified. Add salt and pepper.
*The original recipe calls for grilling your apricots, but being I don’t own a grill I’ve changed it to be prepared with tools most everybody owns. If you have trouble finding fresh apricots, which I have, dried ones are tasty too! This recipe would also taste great with caramelized peaches or nectarines.
*The original recipe calls for pine nuts but I thought almonds would be amazing. Almonds and apricots are complimentary flavors…more about that when I share one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes later this year.