Apple, Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This apple, cherry and candied walnut salad is delicious! apples, dried cherries, blue cheese, candied walnuts with spring greens and drizzled with a cherry balsamic vinaigrette.

I’m on a salad spree.

Yes, there’s such a thing.

Apple, Cherry + Candied Walnut Salad + Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette -

Kind of like a shopping spree… but with vegetables and fruit, I guess.

salad ingredients

I’m not sure why I’m craving salads, because it’s definitely not like I have grand plans for any New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve been craving salads like I was pregnant or something. I’m not… swear. But when I’m at the grocery store there’s a magnetic pull to the produce section and I want them ALL. The other day I made this salad to bring to a friend’s house. Then I made this salad dressing because I have mad plans for a week of Greek {salad}. Then prior to both of those I made this amazing salad I’m sharing with you today. This salad has tart apples, candied walnuts, dried cherries and pungent {in a good way} blue cheese. It’s bonkers good and the homemade cherry balsamic dressing I drizzled over it wasn’t too shabby either.

stir to coat

Add 1 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup sugar to a skillet and heat on medium to medium-low heat until the sugar melts, browns and then sticks to the walnuts. See the exact recipe here.


half cup of cherry juice

For the cherry balsamic vinaigrette I reduced a half cup of cherry juice in a small pan…

reduce to a 14 cup

…until there is a quarter cup left.


I added a minced clove of garlic to a bowl.

salt and black pepper

Measure and add in the teaspoon of kosher salt and a quarter teaspoon of coarse black pepper.

pour in cherry juice

Pour in the cherry reduction.

add in honey

Add in a quarter cup of honey.


A quarter cup of balsamic vinegar…

splash of raspberry vinegar

And a splash of raspberry vinegar.


Whisk that all together to dissolve the honey.

whisk in olive oil

Then continue whisking while you slowly pour in the grapeseed oil.



Now, the salad!

apple 1

Slice the sides off of one medium pink lady apple or you could use a granny smith, but I have a long-term crush on the pink lady.


Then slice and chop.

salad leaves

Finally build your salad by throwing your favorite leafy salad greens into a big bowl. I’m using a spinach/spring mix blend.

chopped apple

Then toss in those chopped apples…

dried cherries

Next add in 1/4 cup of dried cherries.

blue cheese

Then add in 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese.

candied walnuts

Lastly, break up the candied walnuts and throw them on top of everything else.


Toss together….

Apple, Cherry + Candied Walnut Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette l

And there you have it friends. My newest salad obsession, the apple, cherry and candied walnut salad!

Apple, Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

It was hard for me to pick out my favorite salad aspect. Crunchy tart apples with blue cheese is a match made in heaven, but crunchy candied walnuts and the sweet, tart, dried cherries is darn good too. Oh and then there’s the dressing. It’s so good on all of it! So I orchestrate that every bite has a little of everything in it.

Enjoy! And if you give this Apple, Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Apple, Cherry + Candied Walnut Salad + Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette -

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 6 or 8 depending

Apple, Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad + Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Apple, Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad + Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Crunchy, tart apples, dried cherries, blue cheese and candied apples are mixed with leafy salad greens and drizzled with a homemade cherry balsamic vinaigrette.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes



  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 splash of raspberry vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil


  • candied walnuts
  • 1 medium pink lady apple (or granny smith)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 2 ounces blue cheese
  • 5 ounces of your favorite salad greens



  1. Bring a half cup of cherry juice to a boil and whisk until it's reduced by half {1/4 cup}.
  2. In a bowl add in the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cherry juice, honey, balsamic vinegar and a splash of raspberry vinegar. Whisk until the honey is dissolved and keep whisking while you slowly pour in the 1/2 cup of grapeseed or olive oil.


  1. Add your leafy salad greens to a large bowl and top with the chopped apples, dried cherries, blue cheese and candied walnuts. Toss and serve with drizzle of the cherry balsamic vinaigrette.

[this post contains affiliate links.]

    Pin It

17 Responses to “Apple, Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette”

  1. #
    Laura+(Blogging+Over+Thyme) — January 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I’ve actually been on a really big salad kick too–but can pretty much ALWAYS get behind them if they have great add-ins like candied walnuts and bleu cheese!

    Have to make this–great recipe Laurie! šŸ™‚

  2. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — January 6, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I love the cherry/balsamic combo. This salad looks for reals amazing.

  3. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 6, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Such a fab winter salad! Love this!

  4. #
    .Rina@Itheecook — January 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

    This is my kind of salad. Love it!

  5. #
    Lou — January 6, 2014 at 10:49 am

    The photos are beautiful ! This salad is very appetizing ! Bravo !

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 6th, 2014 @ 11:45 am

      Thank you Lou!

  6. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — January 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I will never say no to a candied walnut! That cherry balsamic sounds divine!

  7. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — January 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Love the sound of the cherry balsamic vinaigrette! This is my kind of salad!

  8. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — January 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I am drooling over your photos!!! I love the blue cheese!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 6th, 2014 @ 11:57 pm

      Thank you Liz… I love blue too! Hope you’re staying warm friend! šŸ™‚

  9. #
    Kathryn — January 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Love all the flavours you’ve got going on here especially those candied walnuts.

  10. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — January 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Girl, I am allllllllllll over this salad. I love the ingredient combination – dried cherries are one of my favorite things to put in salads, and I need more blue cheese in my life! And candied walnuts of course.

  11. #
    Tieghan Gerard — January 7, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Any salad with candid walnuts and blue cheese (my favorite!!) I will always be game for! Great recipe!

  12. #
    Aparna B. — January 9, 2014 at 7:53 am

    This is such a Michigan salad — I love it!! Anything with dried cherries, nuts and cheese has my vote! šŸ™‚

  13. #
    javajulz — August 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    sounds grand but I am missing cherry juice! I have dried tart cherries and frozen dark sweet cherries. maybe soaking the dried and whizzing both in the vitamix with some water then straining? hmmm….

  14. #
    Tracey — January 26, 2017 at 11:35 am

    How do you keep the apples from turning brown if you prepare ahead? I am not going to toss the dressing with the salad since I don’t know if everyone will like the dressing.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — January 26th, 2017 @ 12:13 pm

      I would toss them in a little lemon juice šŸ™‚

Leave a Comment