This recipe for an easy apple salad is a real treat; it features crunchy fruit, greens, cheese crumbles, and a maple vinaigrette that has a little kick to it.
Have you got an apple? This magnificent Apple Salad recipe is a straightforward method for transforming it into a lovely accompaniment meal. If we could only consume one salad for the rest of our lives, it would have to be this one. Apple slices that have been cooked to a crisp are served alongside pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, and pecans that have been toasted with cinnamon.
To achieve the pinnacle of salad greatness, toss all of the ingredients in a maple and apple cider vinegar dressing before tossing them with fresh greens. Here is the recipe for our all-time favorite apple salad, which works wonderfully for weeknight dinners, dinner parties, Thanksgiving, and other occasions.
Ingredients in this Apple Salad Recipe
The key to success in this apple salad recipe is using few ingredients while achieving maximum flavor. It’s elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, yet uncomplicated enough to serve alongside a quick supper on a weeknight. The flavors make it an excellent autumn salad or winter salad (perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas), but you may eat it whenever you like because it is versatile. The following ingredients are required to make this delicious salad of greens:
- Crisp tart apple
- Mixed greens like butter or Bibb lettuce, frisee, etc
- Candied pecans or toasted pecans
- Goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles
- Pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
- Maple Vinaigrette dressing
Best Types of Apples for a Salad
What are the most flavorful varieties of apples to use in an apple salad? The ideal apple variety for this situation is a crisp and sour one. You should go for an apple that has a pleasing crunch when you bite into it, and a touch of sourness in the flavor profile will give you the most satisfying pop. The following are some of the best apple cultivars for use in salads:
Pink Lady: Pink Lady is, without a doubt, our most beloved apple variety. The taste is extremely powerfully sweet and sour, and the color is a gorgeous bright red.
Granny Smith: The Granny Smith apple is known for its deliciously sour flavor. We recommend combining this with another red apple, such as a Pink Lady or Honeycrisp, in order to achieve the desired color.
Honeycrisp: Honeycrisp apples are an excellent choice, despite the fact that they are noticeably more sugary and juicy than Pink Lady apples.
Jonathon or Jonagold: These apples, which go by the names Jonathon and Jonagold, are available to be picked at orchards and have a flavor that is both sweet and sour.
There are many other wonderful varieties of apples; please share with us in the comments section below which ones are your favorites.
Candied Pecans Add Big Flavor
What is it that sets apart this apple salad from others? Although all of the components make a contribution, the candied pecans in particular deliver a powerful hit of cinnamon-spiced sweetness. The following are some comments on candied pecans as well as some alternatives:
- The process of making candied pecans only takes 35 minutes and results in a large amount that is simple to put away. It is well worth your effort to prepare a large quantity that may be used for salads for several weeks or even months.
- Keep at room temperature for two weeks, or freeze for three months. The crisp texture and delectable flavor of these nuts are preserved throughout the duration of their storage.
- Pecans that have been candied can also be purchased, or you can roast your own pecans. You don’t feel like making your own, do you? You can get them at the supermarket, or you can just prepare roasted pecans on your own! The flavor of nuts can be brought out to its full potential by using the skillet to toast them.
- You might also try candied walnuts or any other nut that strikes your fancy. Another delicious option to consider is candied walnuts. You may also try the salad with pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts—any of these variations is equally delicious!
Apple Salad Variations: Dressing, Mix-ins and More
This recipe for apple salad lends itself well to numerous permutations, such as the one described above with the almonds. On the other hand, you may experiment with it using a variety of dressings and other mix-ins. The following are some suggestions for alternative sauces, dressings, and mix-ins:
- Vinaigrettes made with maple syrup or honey go particularly well with these flavours.
- Another timeless combination is balsamic vinegar and salad.
- Dressings made with apple cider vinegar or mustard and Dijon are two additional delicious possibilities.
- Honey mustard vinaigrette gives a kick
- Poppy seed dressing has a sweet, delicate flavour
- Cranberries and cherries that have been dried can be substituted for the seeds of pomegranates.
- You can substitute the cheese with Parmesan, gorgonzola, gouda, or Manchego, or you can eliminate it entirely.
- You can use any combination of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts for the nuts.
- Mix in some pepitas or any other kind of crunchy mix-ins.
For the salad
- 1 crisp tart apple (like Pink Lady)
- 8 cups mixed greens or tender lettuces (like butter or Bibb lettuce, frisee, etc)
- ¼ cup candied pecans or toasted pecans
- ¼ cup goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
- Optional: chopped fresh thyme, for garnish
For the maple vinaigrette dressing (use 6 tablespoons)
- 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)
- If you plan to use them, get the candied pecans ready in advance (or use purchased).
- Put together the dressing with Maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper should be mixed together in a medium basin using a whisk. To make a creamy dressing, slowly whisk in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, while whisking. (You can make this dish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; just bring it to room temperature before serving).
- Cut the apple into thin slices.
- Arrange the greens in a single layer on a big dish or on separate plates. Apple slices, candied pecans, crumbled goat cheese or feta, and pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries can be used as toppings for this dish. Serve immediately after topping with around six tablespoons of the dressing, or more if that is your preference. (If you want to make this ahead of time, keep all of the components separate and refrigerate the fresh ingredients and the dressing. To prevent the apples from turning brown, toss them with some lemon juice. The dressing should be let to come to room temperature before adding all of the ingredients together directly before serving.