Got an apple here? In little time at all, you may have a magnificent Apple Salad as an accompaniment to your meal! This salad would be the one we never tire of eating. Apple slices with their natural tartness are a great complement to the tangy pomegranate arils, the tangy goat cheese, and the crunchy cinnamon-spiced pecans. They are salad perfection when tossed with fresh greens and a dressing made from maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. This is the best apple salad dish we’ve ever made, and it’s perfect for any occasion, from weeknight meals to holiday feasts.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Ingredients for this apple salad
Few ingredients, big flavor: that’s the motto of this apple salad dish. It can be served with a fancy dinner party but is also straightforward enough for a weeknight. The flavors are perfect for the cooler months, making this salad perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The ingredients for this refreshing salad are as follows:
- Slightly sour and crisp apple
- Butter lettuce, Bibb lettuce, frisee, etc., in a mixed greens salad.
- Toasted or candied pecans
- Scrambled goat cheese or crumbled feta
- Dried cranberries or pomegranate arils
- Dressing options include a Maple Vinaigrette (or other versions; see below!)
Apples that are ideal for use in salads
When making an apple salad, what varieties work best? In this case, a crisp, tart apple is ideal. You should go for an apple that has a satisfying crunch when you bite into it, and one with a somewhat acidic flavor for maximum impact. Our favorite apple salad kinds are as follows:
- Pink Lady is the best apple there is. It has a beautiful brilliant red hue and a flavor that is very sweet and sour.
- Granny Smith has a deliciously sour taste. Honeycrisp apples are a touch sweeter and juicer than Pink Ladies, but both are excellent options that would complement this blend.
- Apples like the Jonathon and Jonagold can be picked fresh from an orchard, and they have a deliciously sweet and sour taste.
The Flavor of The Candied Pecans is Quite Stand out.
What’s so special about this apple salad? The candied pecans are what really set this dish over the top with their sweet cinnamon taste. Some replacements are listed below, as well as some information about candied pecans.
- Pecans may be candied in 35 minutes, and the resulting batch is huge and convenient to store. Making a large quantity that can be used for salads over a long period of time is well worth the effort.
- Keep for 2 weeks at room temperature or 3 months in the freezer. These nuts maintain their crispness and flavor throughout their storage period.
- You might also use roasted pecans or candied pecans that you buy. Don’t feel like cooking up your own? You may buy them premade or roast your own pecans at home. To enhance their distinctive flavor, toast nuts in a skillet.
- You might also snack on some candied walnuts or your preferred nut. The same goes for candied walnuts. The salad would also be delicious if you added some pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts to it.
Apple salad varieties: dressing, mix-ins, etc.
As mentioned above with the nuts, this apple salad dish is versatile. Try it with different dressings and other ingredients. Some alternative dressings and mix-ins:
- Maple or honey vinaigrette complements the flavors.
- Classic pairings include balsamic vinaigrette.
- Apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard dressings are also good.
- Honey mustard vinaigrette kicks.
- Sweet, elegant poppy seed dressing
- Cranberries or cherries can replace pomegranate seeds.
- Parmesan, gorgonzola, gouda, Manchego, or no cheese.
- Try almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts.
- Add crunchy ingredients like pepitas.
Gluten-free and vegetarian. Leave out the cheese if you’re vegan. (and for vegan, use toasted nuts).
- 1 fresh, sour apple (like Pink Lady)
- 8 cups of salad greens or baby romaine (like butter or Bibb lettuce, frisee, etc)
- 1/4 cup pecans, either roasted or coated in sugar
- a quarter cup of crumbled goat cheese or feta
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds
- Fresh thyme, chopped (optional)
dressing: (Use no more than six teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper (optional)
- Candied pecans, if used, should be made ahead of time. (or use purchased).
- Dressing it up: Combine the maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. A creamy dressing can be achieved by whisking in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time. (If desired, make in advance and refrigerate up to 2 weeks; bring to room temperature prior to serving).
- Cut the apple into thin slices.
- Distribute the salad greens among dishes or a wide platter. Apple slices, candied nuts, crumbled goat cheese or feta, pomegranate seeds, and dried cranberries make a delicious topping. Sprinkle with the dressing, adding extra if necessary, and serve right away. (To prepare ahead of time, keep fresh ingredients and dressing in the fridge. Applying lemon juice to apples will stop them from turning brown. Toss everything together right before serving (dressing should be at room temperature)
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