Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cherries

Winter-Salad-2 This is the second Pioneer Woman recipe I have made…another winner! I brought this Winter Salad to a New Year’s Day party…and both the men and women gave it high marks. I found the salad dressing to be most unusual…only one teaspoon of cider vinegar for the 1/4 cup of olive oil…much less acid than I’d usually use. I did up that measurement a bit, but the rest is pure Ree…lots of Dijon mustard plus some maple syrup in the dressing as well. And it works. I renamed this bowl of dressed greens and goodies “Winter Salad” as it is perfect for the cold months when garden tomatoes and other homegrown goodies are impossible to find. I don’t think you’ll miss your summer salad at all when you taste this lovely concoction of greens, thinly sliced Granny apples, toasted pecans and small cubes of Maytag blue cheese. The perfect combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy ingredients.

Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cherries~

Ingredients

  • Recipe slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman
  • 12 ounces Spring Mix greens or baby spinach
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced thinly (I used my mandolin)
  • 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 6 ounces Maytag blue cheese, cut into small cubes (may use any blue cheese of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon real Maple syrup
  • 2-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Arrange apples, pecans, cherries and blue cheese over greens in salad bowl or platter.
  2. In a small mason jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake to mix and emulsify. Just before serving pour dressing over salad and lightly toss.
  3. Serves 8.
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Comments

  1. Meat… It needs meat…. D:

    That salad would go great with some grilled chicken or something.

  2. Mmm, love the mixture of green veggies and apples. The Dijon mustard to balance and bring the salad together is a great choice, too =)

  3. Really beautiful.

  4. What a cool looking salad… my hubby would go for this for sure because he’s a blue cheese fan. :)

  5. I love salad in any season,great combination ingredients plus the crunchiness from pecans and the real maple syrup on the dressing,is one my favorite :)

  6. Perfect renaming of that salad. It’s totally for winter months, though it would be fantastic in summer with some sliced strawberries added, wouldn’t it. I’m fascinated by the original dressing proportions. Just a teaspoon of vinegar? I suppose Rhee used the Dijon as the acid in place? I’d probably up the amount as well. That’s a heck of a lot of oil otherwise. It looks delicious.

  7. I’ll drop by later and bring some bacon or grilled chicken to go with that delicious salad :D

  8. Liz, sounds great and the cherries are a wonderful idea. I’ve got a stash of dried Bing Cherries from my US trip and so this is a real treat!

  9. This is one of my favorite salads – great blend of flavors!

  10. Some of my favorite salad ingredients for sure! I agree the dressing proportions are odd but otherwise it looks great!

  11. Hi Liz! For some reason I didn’t get the feeds from your blog and I missed all the beautiful things you made this month! Anyway it is better late than never as they say. I came just in time for this delicious salad. My son and husband would love the addition of blue cheese!

  12. happyzhangbo says:

    Liz, this salad looks so good, packed with goodness and yumminess, and so refreshing too. Love everything in this salad, I can have at least one platefull right now :D Thanks for feeding my eyes :)

  13. My friend Liz.
    Gorgeous salad. She has everything that is tasty and looks very pretty.
    I love blue cheese and cherries so for me is great. I also enjoyed the delicious sauce. I eat the entire platter and still ask for more.
    By the way I loved the French Apple Tart
    Kisses xo

  14. Lizzy,
    I have not been getting any of your posts! WHY????

  15. I think it´s a year round salad, I´d be happy to have it right now!

  16. Oh I love the look of this salad. It is so hot in Australia I have been eating salad every day, I will have to try this one… maybe with a little less oil though :)

  17. We are hosting an event to cook Ree Drummond this coming Sep. Like you said about this salad, all Ree’s recipes seem wonderful and I can’t wait to try cooking and baking her recipes soon.

  18. I used to eat a very similar salad at my favorite restaurant in Paris. The only difference was no dried cherries and pecans and the dressing was a walnut vinegar. Thanks for sharing this I can’t wait to give it a try…very soon.

  19. I love a good salad! Salads are actually harder than people think, it’s tough to get a really great balance of flavors and this one looks perfect :)

  20. Great mixture of textures and flavours – love it!

  21. What a coincidence! I was just blogging about my vegetable salad:) Winter salad looks so refreshing with all the nuts and cheese, great flavors.

  22. Thats a cook looking salad. You have a lovely blog out here with great recipes:)

  23. What a nice and healthy salad! I like the crunchy apples in it. But I would have to minus the blue cheese from mine, I can’t get around to liking that cheese !

  24. That is my food, love salad in the winter, love salads in the summer, and any time all year round. Great, Lizzy! :)

  25. Great looking salad. There’s a cold snap at the moment in Arizona (where apparently St. Louis gets lots of greens at this time of the year) so green stuff has been expensive. No problem with this salad – although it requires some greens, most of the flavor comes from all sorts of good things. Really nice combo of flavors – thanks.

  26. If you put blue cheese in a salad, I will come to you. Love the mixture of flavors. It brightens my exceedingly frigid day.

  27. This looks like a wonderful fresh, healthy salad. I am sure it would meet with approval here too.

  28. That salad looks wonderful. The dressing ingredients are interesting and sound fresh and light! Must try this!

  29. looks absolutely perfect.

  30. So many good things together, the crunchy apples and creamy blue cheese together with the pecans and cherries…yum!

  31. Lovely salad! Lots of crunch but I would omit the blue cheese :)

  32. Serves 8… or one me! My favorite type of salad!

  33. This is my kinda salad! All my favorite ingredients in one :) And I just happen to have all the ingredients in my fridge!!

  34. The salad sounds wonderful and I could eat it no matter the season.

  35. The salad looks and sounds delicious:) Love the Maple Syrup:)

  36. I love a big winter salad chock full of flavor, and yours looks perfect Lizzy!

  37. this is great – I’ve been eating something very similar to this all week, only I’ll throw in some strawberries and bluerries instead of the dried cherries, it’s really been hitting the spot!!!!

  38. I just used up my dried cherries, otherwise I would have made this tonight. Pears would be an amazing substitute in this delicious winter recipe, except that I would definitely poach the pears as they are hard as rock and tasteless this time of year. I can see why this one came out on top at the party, so pretty and pretty damn delicious sounding too.

  39. Very nice salad. it may be wintery but it bring a lot of sun to a old day. Great combo of ingredients…especially the blue cheese

  40. I love meals like this that are quick, easy, and DELICIOUS! I love having something cheesy in my salads and the pecans are great too! Glad that this recipe was a winner for you!

  41. This would be mine all mine. My picky eaters wouldn’t enjoy the nuts, more for me yay!!!

  42. What a gorgeous salad! I love the addition of dried cherries, but all the flavors are great and I’m sure they’d be wonderful together.

  43. Lizzy, it does look delicious! A very flavorful combination of ingredients :)

  44. This salad look yummy. I love the combination of ingredients.

  45. Certainly love the name ‘Winter Salad’! Wish I can also enjoy salad accompanied by snow……… I’ve always enjoyed having cheese in my salad :)

  46. Just beautiful!!

  47. OMG Lizzie this winter salad looks gorgeous. My hubby doesn’t like blue cheese but I won’t tell him, make and have it all mid week for me. :)

  48. Will be making this for company this weekend – a friend and I were drooling over some great blue cheese at a wine tasting last night. will be sending her this recipe. Thanks

  49. Have you tried her vanilla bean scones recipe yet? They are some of THE best scones I have ever eaten!

  50. Brooks at Cakewalker says:

    Lizzy, this is so my kind of salad. I’ll mirror your adaptation by upping the acid, but oh, the textures and flavors of this aptly named dish makes me swoon. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  51. We make a similar version of this salad when strawberries are in season. I’ve seen it done with pears too. It’s a family favorite here too. Everyone loves the nuts and cheese on top!

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