This Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Dried Cherries will make you forget that the availability of garden tomatoes and lettuce is months and months away!

Overhead view of Loaded Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cherries.

Why You Must Make

  • I brought this Winter Salad from the Pioneer Woman 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 with 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.
  • There’s a lot of Dijon mustard plus some maple syrup in the dressing as well. And it works deliciously with this salad!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Olive Oil, Salt, Black Pepper
  • Spring Mix Greens or Baby Spinach – Both work well, so pick what you prefer.
  • Granny Smith Apples – Core and slice very thin. I used my mandoline.
  • Pecan Halves – Toast in the oven or in a skillet
  • Dried Cherries – I love the tart-dried cherries at Trader Joe’s. You can use dried cranberries AKA Craisins instead.
  • Maytag Blue Cheese – Cut into small cubes or crumble. Use any favorite blue cheese variety.
  • Dijon Mustard – I always have Grey Poupon on hand.
  • Maple Syrup – Use real maple syrup, never artificially flavored syrups like Log Cabin.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – To taste in order to balance the sweetness from the maple syrup.
Loaded Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cherries on a small plate.

When to Serve

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 vegetables 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. Plus, the sweet and tangy salad dressing is delicious!

It provides the perfect combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy ingredients. This winter salad is magnificent any month of the year! I promise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Make This a Winter Salad?

It’s made without ingredients you’d find in many summer salads like garden tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh berries, peaches, garden radishes, sweet corn, etc. It has apples, nuts and dried fruit which are more popular in fall and winter salads. Plus, the dressing is made with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.

What Are Other Ingredients to Use in a Winter Salad?

Try sliced pears instead of apples. Roasting butternut squash, carrots, fennel, and beets all turn softer and sweeter when cooked. They’re delicious additions to salad.

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 This Winter Salad with Apples, Pecans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cherries will make you forget that the availability of garden tomatoes and lettuces are months and months away!

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

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings

A loaded green salad perfect for fall and winter months!

Ingredients

  • 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 a salad bowl or on a platter.
  2. In a small mason jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake to mix and emulsify.
  3. Just before serving pour dressing over the salad and lightly toss.

Notes

The recipe is slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman.

May use pears instead of apples, any favorite nuts, and dried cranberries instead of cherries.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 384mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g

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