This fall salad with apples ticks the boxes for tangy, salty, sour, and sweet. With candied pecans, green onions, and a cider vinaigrette, there’s a reason it’s a household holiday favorite. Vegan & gluten-free.
In my last post, I shared one of my favorite fall salads with persimmons and delicata squash.
This week I’m back with another seasonal salad that would be a great holiday dinner addition. In fact, it was inspired by a salad my sister-in-law brings every year to our extended family Thanksgiving.
I always look forward to enjoying a big bowlful of it. But there’s no reason that you have to wait until the fourth Thursday in November to try it.
Fall salad with apples & candied pecans
This autumnal starter includes slices of roasted Pink Lady apples that are cooked until dry and a little chewy.
(If you prefer burnt edges around your apple slices, I include directions for that as well.)
Since they are roasted, you don’t have to worry about the apples browning in between making them and serving them later.
They store well in the refrigerator and also make for a tasty, straight-out-of-the-refrigerator snack on their own.
The salad gets a nutty sweetness from candied pecans.
A word of warning:
It’s a good thing they are easy to make. Because if you are like me, you will end up making a second batch, and maybe a third.
One tiny test to make sure they came out right turns into handful after handful until the pecans are gone. The sticky salty sweetness is irresistible.
I’ve written about Kristy’s tofu chèvre many times. The salad only requires a few crumbles, and so the remaining chèvre was spread onto water crackers.
Since the chèvre has a tofu base, it also elevates the salad to more of a filling meal, which is especially handy if you’re serving it as an entrée.
(Don’t feel like adding a step? The salad is delicious either with or without the chèvre. Or you can use Violife feta as a tasty store-bought alternative.)
Finally, the salad is finished with cider vinaigrette made with unfiltered apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, and stoneground mustard.
This tangy tart dressing has a terrific apple bite.
Fall salad with apples & candied pecans
Fall salad with apples
- 2 Pink Lady apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4" thin half moons
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
- 2 Tablespoons sugar I use evaporated cane juice.
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Pinch salt
- 2 green onions thinly sliced with ends removed
- 5 ounces baby spring mix
- Handful tofu chèvre crumbled, optional
To make fall salad with apples
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (If you prefer apples with browned edges, preheat to 400 degrees.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On one of the baking sheets, spread the apple slices evenly across it, being careful not to overlap. Bake the slices for 20 minutes, stopping once halfway through to flip. Remove the slices from oven and cool. (If you will be making the salad later, store the apple slices in a container in the refrigerator.)
- While the apple slices bake, bring a non-stick skillet to a medium heat. Pour the pecan halves into the dry skillet and toast them for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and water to the skillet. The sugar will melt into the water almost immediately, quickly creating a syrup. Once the pecan halves are completely covered in the syrup, pour them across the second parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Allow the pecans to fully cool before adding them to the salad. (If you will be incorporating the pecans into the salad later, store the pecans on the counter in a glass container.)
- Add the roasted apple slices and pecans to a large salad bowl with green onions and baby spring mix. Top with a handful of crumbled tofu chèvre, if using. Serve with cider vinaigrette.
To make cider vinaigrette
- In a small bowl, whisk apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, stoneground mustard, salt & pepper.