A Dinner Party-Worthy Salad of Arugula, Spinach, Apples, Goat Cheese and Pepitas

Bring this hearty winter salad to the next dinner party you join or make it for your own supper.

Once upon a time there was a salad that I brought to a friend’s house for supper.  It had arugula and spinach and some crisp reddish yellow apples.  There was goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds and a cider vinegar dressing that I stole from an Ina Garten recipe.  I hope it was splendid.  I thought it was tasty, at least.

You would be wise to follow my lead and take this arugula and spinach salad with apples, goat cheese and pepitas to the next dinner party you are invited to join.  It’s fabulous.

It’s quite easy to serve people some greens that fulfill a vegetable serving or two for the day, but with a bit more effort and thought you can give them a lot more than that.  This salad is crisp, complex and the different ingredients balance each other out in a way that satiates the palette.

The wonderful thing about bringing a salad to a friend’s house is that you can add a new dimension to the meal without stealing the show.  Even better is when you know what your host is making so you can try to compliment the main dish.  On Saturday night, this hearty winter salad was served alongside a wonderful dinner of pork scarpariello, roasted broccolini and farro (recipe to be blogged about soon!).  Yummy!

Maybe it is just me, but I feel like the world has exploded with really crisp apples.  My son loves them and so does mommy so we’ve always got an assortment of different kinds in our fruit bowl.  The Honeycrisp steals the show, and they are, of course, a wise choice.  However, I made this dish with Braeburn apples, which are half the price and pretty damn good.  Pink lady or gala apples could also do the trick.

As I think I mentioned, I stole this dressing from a different Ina garten recipe.  It calls for apple cider, apple cider vinegar, shallots, oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper.  The recipe below makes enough vinaigrette to dress several salads.  Dress this salad lightly, adding a bit until the spinach and arugula leaves are lightly coated, but not dowsed.  Then save the extra vinaigrette for salads during your week.  It will last several days in your refrigerator.

Finally, one of the things I love about salads of arugula and spinach is that if you succeed in dressing them lightly, you can eat the leftovers the next day.  After debuting this salad on Saturday night, I made it again on Monday and ate the leftovers on Tuesday!

Arugula and Spinach Salad with Apples, Goat Cheese and Pepitas

Author: Julie du Pont

Recipe type: Salad

Prep time:  8 mins

Cook time:  8 mins

Total time:  16 mins

Serves: 6-8

A hearty salad of arugula, spinach, apples, goat cheese and toasted pepitas dressed in an apple cider vinaigrette.



  • 8 oz spinach and arugula mix
  • 1 crisp reddish yellow apple (e.g., honeycrisp, braeburn, pink lady, gala), thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup goat cheese
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas (toasted in a little olive oil)


  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinager
  • 2 tbsp shallots, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper



  1. In a salad bowl, combine the arugula, spinach, apple and goat cheese.
  2. In a small skillet, heat just enough olive oil to coat the pan. Add the pepitas and brown (3-4 minutes). Add the browned pepitas and any extra oil directly to the salad so they stop cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, combine the apple cider, shallots and vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the apple cider is reduced by about ¼ cup.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  5. Lightly dress the salad with the apple cider vinaigrette right before you are ready to serve.


Julie du Pont is a Darien resident, mom and lawyer.  She blogs about food and entertaining at weekendtable.com


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