A friend invited us for dinner and asked us to bring a salad. We were in the mountains and I thought an Autumn-feeling salad would be nice, but where to find a recipe? I searched online and found quite a few butternut squash salads, but that seems very heavy to me, then I found a salad on Cooking Light that inspired me, Fall Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Stilton. In the end, I ended making up my own salad recipe with ingredients I was able to procure in the one store in the mountains, but I did use the dressing from the Cooking Light recipe, and it was quite delicious (even though the dried apricot seemed weird-I think it added something so use it)! Feel free to try the salad as written or swap out the dried cranberries for fresh pomegranate, pears for the apples or pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) for the pine nuts. It is pretty versatile. This serves 6-8 side salads, or 4 large entree-sized salads (maybe add cubed chicken for an entree).
Autumn Mixed Baby Lettuces and Apple Cranberry Salad
Healthy Autumn salad with crunchy apples, pine nuts and dried cranberries.
- 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used a whole small lemon)
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 dried apricots, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 10 ounce package mixed baby lettuces
- 1 large crunchy sweet red apple such as Fuji, Pink Lady or Honey Crisp, skin on, sliced thinly and then cut in thirds.
- 1 pint of mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 ounces goat cheese (I used a goat cheese with figs)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 cup juice-sweetened dried cranberries
- In a small bowl mix the first 6 ingredients (shallot – apricots) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Gradually pour in the olive oil with the blender running on low until all of it is mixed in. Add black pepper to taste and stir to blend. Set aside.
- Slice the apple. After slicing, immerse the apple pieces in a bath of cold water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Let sit while assembling the rest of the salad.
- Toast the pine nuts in the oven at a low heat (around 300 degrees F) for a few minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
- On a very large platter (or bowl) lay out the lettuce. Layer on the apples and tomato halves, and then toss with half the dressing. Add little spoonfuls of the goat cheese (I left this on the side so the dairy-free people can leave this out), cranberries and finishing with the toasted pine nuts. Serve the remaining dressing on the side for anyone who wants more. Enjoy!