Happy New Year! It’s day number two of 2019. Did you resolve to eat healthier this year? If so, then you need to add this apple pecan blue cheese salad with dried cherries to your menu rotation.
I have made this salad several times in the past month or so and it is a hit with my very carnivorous husband. In fact, I made a couple of these salads for our Meatless Monday lunch this week.
We were both at work having this salad for lunch when David sent me a text.
Here’s the proof that this is definitely a salad that you need to try! Check out the screenshot below:
HOW TO MAKE APPLE, PECAN, BLUE CHEESE SALAD WITH DRIED CHERRIES
The salad is made with simple mixed greens, tossed with sliced sweet crisp apples, crunchy pecans, tangy dried cherries, and creamy blue cheese. The salad is drizzled with a sweet and savory maple-Dijon vinaigrette. There is such a great balance of texture and flavor in this salad. Your mouth will be on a roller coaster ride of excitement.
SALAD INGREDIENT ADAPTATIONS
This apple pecan blue cheese salad with dried cherries is so versatile! This recipe is clean eating at its best because you are in control of everything that goes into it. If there is an ingredient that you don’t particularly care for, then make it your own!
This salad is delicious served as a side dish, appetizer or main meal. It makes a great Meatless Monday option, but it could also add cubed grilled or roasted chicken for extra protein.
Please refer to the following list of suggestions below:
The Salad Greens:
I like using a spring mix for this salad, but any choice of greens will work. From Romaine to baby spinach, to butter lettuce, you cannot go wrong.
For the apple, I like to use a crisp variety such as Envy (our new favorite) Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji but any variety you like will definitely work. Pears would be a great substitute if you don’t have apples in your refrigerator.
David loves the glazed pecan from Emerald and I use those in his salad, but I prefer them plain. You could also substitute the pecans with walnuts or almonds.
The Blue Cheese:
I am now a fan of blue cheese, but I didn’t always use to be. If you don’t like blue cheese, you could substitute with feta, goat cheese or extra-sharp cheddar. These cheese are great options!
The Dried Cherries:
I bought a 2-pound box of dried cherries this summer when we went to Ohio. I adore them and knew I would use them up. Dried cherries are not easy to find, and they can be expensive. Good substitute options for dried cherries would be dried cranberries, raisins, dried currants or any other dried berry that can be substituted.
The Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette:
This dressing is amazing as is, but if you don’t have maple syrup in the house a good substitute would be honey. Of course, the dressing would then be called a Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette.
If making ahead, store the cherries and pecans together, but all the other ingredients separately. For best results, slice the apple before serving or in the morning before use.
Refrigerate the dressing, but take out 30-minutes prior to serving to allow it to come up to room temperature. Shake well before drizzling onto the salad. Refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette for up to a month.
I hope you will try this healthy versatile apple, pecan, blue cheese salad with dried cherries.
Here’s to more good eating in 2019!
Apple Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries
- 12 ounces salad greens
- 2 apples cored, sliced or diced
- ½ cup pecans
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- 6 ounce blue cheese crumbled
- Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
The Maple Dijon Vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard heaping
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup to taste
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Make the Salad:
- Add the salad greens, apples, pecans, dried cherries, and blue cheese into a large salad bowl.
Make the Dressing:
- Add the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, to a small jar with a lid. Place on the lid and shake well to mix. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Drizzle a little of the maple-Dijon vinaigrette over the salad at a time and toss to combine. Taste salad and add more vinaigrette if desired.
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