Apple Salad: A Fresh and Crunchy Delight

In the world of salads, few combinations are as refreshing and versatile as the Apple Salad. This delightful dish brings together the crispness of fresh apples, the earthiness of leafy greens, and the richness of nuts and cheese, all dressed in a tangy-sweet vinaigrette. The Apple Salad is not just a side dish; it can stand alone as a light lunch or be a standout feature at a dinner party. The balance of flavors and textures makes it a perennial favorite, appealing to both the health-conscious and the gourmet alike.


For the Salad:

  • 3 large apples (such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji), cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens (such as arugula, spinach, and romaine)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Prepare the Salad:

  1. Select and Prepare the Apples:
    Choose three large apples that are firm and crisp. A combination of tart and sweet apples, such as Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, works well to create a balanced flavor profile. Core the apples and thinly slice them. To prevent browning, you can toss the apple slices in a little lemon juice before adding them to the salad.
  2. Prepare the Greens:
    Wash and dry your mixed salad greens thoroughly. You can use a salad spinner to remove excess water, ensuring that the greens are crisp and dry. A mix of arugula, spinach, and romaine adds a variety of textures and flavors, from peppery to mild.
  3. Combine the Salad Ingredients:
    In a large salad bowl, combine the prepared salad greens, sliced apples, dried cranberries or raisins, crumbled blue cheese or feta, candied pecans or walnuts, thinly sliced red onion, and thinly sliced celery. The combination of these ingredients provides a delightful mix of sweetness, crunch, and creaminess.

Prepare the Vinaigrette:

  1. Mix the Vinaigrette:
    In a small bowl or a mason jar, combine the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey or maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk or shake the ingredients until well combined. The Dijon mustard acts as an emulsifier, helping to blend the oil and vinegar smoothly.
  2. Adjust Seasoning:
    Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning as needed. You may add more honey or maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter dressing, or more vinegar if you like it tangier. A pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper can enhance the overall flavor.

Assemble the Salad:

  1. Dress the Salad:
    Just before serving, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Use a pair of salad tongs or clean hands to gently toss the salad, ensuring that all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. Be careful not to overdress the salad; you can always serve extra dressing on the side for those who prefer more.
  2. Garnish and Serve:
    Transfer the tossed salad to a large serving platter or individual plates. For an extra touch of elegance, garnish with a few additional cranberries, nuts, and a sprinkle of cheese on top. Serve immediately to enjoy the salad at its freshest and crunchiest.

Tips for Success:

  • Choose Fresh Ingredients:
    Freshness is key to a great salad. Use the freshest apples and greens you can find, and make sure your nuts and cheese are of good quality.
  • Variations:
    Feel free to customize the salad to your liking. You can add other fruits like pears or pomegranate seeds, switch the nuts for a different type, or try a different cheese like goat cheese or cheddar.
  • Make Ahead:
    You can prepare the salad ingredients and vinaigrette ahead of time, but do not combine them until just before serving to keep the salad crisp.


The Apple Salad is a delightful combination of flavors and textures that makes for a perfect starter, side dish, or light meal. Its versatility and refreshing taste make it a favorite for many, and its simple preparation ensures it can be whipped up in no time. With its vibrant colors and appealing mix of sweet, tangy, and crunchy elements, the Apple Salad is not just a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes. Enjoy this salad at your next gathering, and watch it become an instant hit!

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