A tangy apple cider vinaigrette is the perfect topping for fall salad. Pecans and apples are featured ingredients on a bed of greens.
Apples are a fall favorite
Who doesn't love a fresh apple? Here at B&B we use them in Apple Cider Coffee Cake for breakfast, in Baked Brie with Apples & Bacon for appetizers and naturally there are the desserts. Apple Crisp with Cranberries, Apple Pecan Cheesecake and traditional Apple Pie are a few of our favorites.
So, it was just a matter of time before we developed a fall green salad with apples and we bet you'll put this one in regular rotation on your menu. In fact, we won't tell if you love it so much you decide to make it any season of the year. It's that good!
What variety of apples are best for salad?
It's really going to depend on the other ingredients and the dressing. We planned the flavors of this salad to work with a sweeter variety of apple. In the photos you see here we used Gala apples, but any delicately sweet variety will be great.
For a full guide on apples varieties we would direct you to this article from Whole Foods.
Pecans are a natural addition to fall green salad
If you've been around here long you know about our love affair with pecans. We're Georgia girls and pecans are grown in abundance in our home state. In fact, my house sits in what was once a pecan orchard - how lucky is that?
They're a natural combined with apples as you'll also find in Chicken Salad with Apples & Pecans. It's the perfect hot weather dish that'll make you start wishing for fall!
If you're a fan of southern food culture you'll want to read Southern Food: Then & Now.
For the salad we made a slightly toned-down version (less spicy) of our Ritz Carlton Lodge Inspired Pecans. They're a little sweet and a little spicy.
If you make a few extra you'll find yourself snacking on them but that can be our secret too.
MORE RECIPES WITH PECANS AT BISCUITS & BURLAP:
And yes, there is some overlap with the apple recipes because it's just such a natural combination:
- Pimento Cheese Ball
- Peach Crumble with Pecan Topping
- Apple Pecan Cheesecake
- Classic Ambrosia
- Traditional Pecan Pie
- Apple Cider Coffee Cake
- Sweet Potato Cake with Pecan Praline Icing
The homemade salad dressing sets off the salad flavors beautifully
It has a tanginess from a bit of apple cider vinegar and balsamic. Then it gets just a tad of sweetness from maple syrup along with a punch from Dijon mustard.
Just add all of the ingredients to a mason jar or any airtight container and give a few good shakes. As with most dressings, this apple cider vinaigrette will benefit from a few hours for the flavors to blend.
We've also got a Southwest Salad Dressing recipe that uses apple cider vinegar if you'd like to check that one out too. If you're looking for a creamier dressing, this Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing might be for you!
An optional addition for flavor and crunch:
If you're a fan of pomegranate seeds, this fall salad is the perfect place to use them. That color and crunch can take an already amazing dish and make it even better.
Not everyone loves them, so you may want to just offer a small bowl with a spoon next to the salad and anyone that wants to can add some.
For some added protein and flavor, try this Grilled Chicken for Salad. It's made with a quick marinade and is a delicious topping for any type of salad. Or you could serve it with as a side with a bowl of Carrot Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter.
A contrasting texture can definitely take your salad from delicious to amazing. The pistachios on this Clementine Salad work the same way.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette on Fall Salad
For the Dressing
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons syrup cane or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
For the Pecans
- ¼ pound pecan halves
- 2 Tablespoons syrup cane or maple
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
For the salad
- 1-2 heads Bibb lettuce or other leaf lettuce
- 1 apple, sliced Gala or other slightly sweet apple
- 2-3 ounces crumbled Goat cheese
- 2-3 teaspoons pomegranate seeds optional
For the Dressing
- Add all ingredients to a jar with tightly fitting lid and shake.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours before serving if possible.
- Remove garlic before serving.
For the Pecans:
- Toss all ingredients together and spread in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking pan.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and stir. Bake another 10 minutes.
- When cool pecans will need to be broken apart if any are stuck together.
For the Salad
- Wash, dry and tear the lettuce. Place in one larger bowl or on individual salad plates.
- Top with apple slices, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds if desired.
- Top with dressing and toss.
A few tips for your fall green salad:
- The pecans can be cooked up to several days ahead and stored in tightly sealed plastic bag.
- Goat cheese is easier to crumble after about 10 minutes in the freezer.
- Apple slices can soak in a mixture of 1 cup water to 2 teaspoons lemon juice to prevent browning.