This Apple Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad is simple, fresh and delicious! A blend of leafy greens, micro greens and fresh basil is topped with crisp sliced apples, dried cherries, crumbled blue cheese and homemade candied walnuts drizzled with a tart cherry balsamic vinaigrette. Serves 4 entire salads.
I’m forever craving salads.
The other day I made this Panera recreation for lunch. Last night I served this fall harvest salad with dinner. However prior to both of these, I made the salad I’m sharing with you today. I love the combination of sweet and tart apples, crunchy candied walnuts, dried cherries and the tangy blue cheese with little pops of freshness from basil. But the homemade cherry balsamic dressing makes it *chefs kiss*.
It’s honestly so simple yet so incredible.
All in all, it’s the perfect fall salad,
To Make This Apple Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad You Will Need:
for the vinaigrette:
- kosher salt – Enhances the flavors of this dressing.
- freshly ground black pepper – This will add some subtle bite and flavor.
- garlic – Adds delicious punchy flavor.
- dijon mustard – Helps with emulsion and also gives the dressing a nice tanginess.
- honey – For a touch of sweetness. You could also use maple syrup.
- balsamic vinegar – For tang and acidity.
- tart cherry juice concentrate – This is thick and syrupy with a concentrated cherry flavor. I use the Shoreline fruit brand.
- extra virgin olive oil – Lends richness and flavor.
for the salad:
- leafy salad mix – Use your favorite. I used a blend of power greens and baby romaine.
- micro greens – Depending on what you buy will depend on what flavor they add to a salad.
- basil (fresh) – For distinct fresh herbaceous flavor.
- apples – I’m using cosmic crisp apples, however honeycrisp, red delicious or pink lady can be used.
- dried tart cherries – Has great texture and delicious sweet and tart flavor.
- candied walnuts – Lends sweetness and crunch with subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
- blue cheese – Adds creaminess and sharp, earthy and tangy flavor.
Make your candied walnuts.
It’s pretty easy! Toss walnuts in beaten and frothy egg whites and then toss those into some sugar with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. But I’ll include the full recipe at the bottom of the post.
Or Click here to see the step-by-step instructions!
Make The Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
In a glass jar or container with a tight fitting lid, measure and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 clove grated fresh garlic, 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/4 cup cherry juice concentrate, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Secure the lid and shake well. Make sure the honey, salt and pepper are distributed well.
Next throw you favorite leafy salad greens into a big bowl. I’m using a power blend and a baby romaine. To that add in 2 ounces micro greens and 1/3 cup sliced fresh basil.
Divide salad among bowls and top wit sliced apples, candied walnuts, dried cherries, crumbled blue cheese.
Drizzle with the cherry balsamic vinaigrette.
Season with black pepper and a few extra basil leaves.
And there you have it friends. My newest salad obsession, the apple cherry and candied walnut salad!
It was hard for me to pick out my favorite thing about this salad. Crunchy tart apples with blue cheese is a match made in heaven, but crunchy candied walnuts and the tart dried cherries is pretty amazing as well. And then there’s the dressing! Insert all the heart eye emojis!
With that said, I orchestrate that every forkful has a little of everything on it.
Apple Cherry and Candied Walnut Salad
FOR THE CHERRY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE:
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1/4 cup tart cherry juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 6 tablespoons extra light olive oil
FOR THE SALAD:
- 10 ounces mixed salad greens
- 2 ounces microgreens
- 1/3 cup sliced fresh basil
- 2 medium apples, thinly sliced (honeycrisp, pink lady or cosmic crisp)
- 1 cup candied walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 4 ounces blue cheese, or more or less to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE:
- In a glass jar or container with a tight fitting lid, add in salt, black pepper, garlic, cherry juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard and olive oil.
- Secure the lid and shake well to combine. Make sure the honey is mixed thoroughly.
MAKE THE SALAD:
- Add your salad greens to a large bowl with micro greens and sliced basil. Toss to combine and divide among bowls.
- Top with the sliced apples, dried cherries, blue cheese and candied walnuts with a drizzle of the cherry balsamic vinaigrette.
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