In this gorgeous Fall Harvest Salad, crisp apples, pears, sliced carrots, toasted pecans and blue cheese are tossed with mixed greens and chopped bacon. The salad is then drizzled with a warm maple bacon vinaigrette! Serve as a side or top with sliced chicken as an entree.
It doesn’t have to be Fall to enjoy this Harvest Salad.
A blend of salad greens is topped with sliced apples, pears and carrots. Sprinkled with toasted pecans, crispy bacon pieces and crumbled blue cheese. And if that wasn’t persuasive enough, this salad is also drizzled with a warm maple bacon vinaigrette.
Serve this salad next to chicken or pork or with your holiday feast. It will no doubt be a crowd pleaser.
Apples, bacon and blue cheese plus a warm maple-y bacon vinaigrette… what’s not to love?
To Make This Fall Harvest Salad You Will Need:
for the dressing:
- reserved bacon fat – For sautéing shallot and also adds a smokiness to the dressing.
- shallot – Lends a delicate sweet onion flavor.
- pure maple syrup – Adds a touch of sweetness and subtle maple flavor.
- dijon mustard – Helps with emulsion and also gives the dressing a nice tanginess.
- red wine vinegar – Adds tang and acidity.
- kosher salt – This will draw out flavor and season the dressing.
- freshly ground black pepper – For added bite and flavor.
for the salad:
- bacon – I use thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon, but any will work.
- salad greens – Use a mixture of your favorite for the base for the salad.
- honeycrisp apple – Adds crunch and also sweet and tart apple flavor.
- pear – Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett or Comice are best for salads. Pick pears that are ripe yet still firm.
- carrots – I like to use heirloom carrots for their color, but any will do.
- pecans (toasted) – For toasty nutty flavor.
- crumbled blue cheese – Adds creaminess and sharp, earthy and tangy flavor.
Make The Vinaigrette:
Cook up 4 strips of thick-cut applewood bacon. Once cooked, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. There should be roughly 2 tablespoons leftover after cooking the bacon, to that add 1 small finely diced shallots to the bacon fat. Cook over medium-low until soft.
To make the warm maple vinaigrette, first measure out 1/3 cup of good-quality, pure maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard into a small jar or bowl.
Next, add in 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Give that a whisk to combine and set off to the side.
Once the shallots have sautéed in the bacon fat, pour in the maple dijon part of the dressing.
Stir until the dressing is warm and slightly thickened, then remove off of the heat.
Keep the dressing warm or pour into a jar and set off to the side.
Can This Warm Maple Vinaigrette Be Made In Advance?
Sure! However, it may solidify due to the bacon fat. I would recommend gently reheating before giving it a quick whisk and then serve.
Build The Salad:
Throw 10 ounces of mixed salad greens into a gigantic serving bowl. Prep the salad toppings. Start by slicing up a honeycrisp apple, a pear, carrots and pan-toast 1/3 cup pecans.
Top with sliced apple, pear and carrots, chopped bacon, chopped toasted pecans and crumbled blue cheese.
Finally, serve the salad drizzled with the warm maple bacon vinaigrette over top.
Hands down my newest and most favorite salad.
It’s crunchy, sweet and smoky which all pairs deliciously with the funky blue cheese.
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Fall Harvest Salad with Warm Maple Bacon Vinaigrette
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, I like country or whole grain
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat, leftover in the skillet
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
FOR THE SALAD:
- 10 ounce salad greens
- 1 small honeycrisp apple, sliced
- 1 ripe pear, sliced
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- 4 slices thick applewood bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, freshly crumbled - more to taste
- Cook bacon until crispy, remove bacon to drain on a paper towel lined plarte.
- Meanwhile, combine the maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper into a small bowl or jar and set aside.
- Add the salad greens to a large serving bowl. Top with sliced apples, pears, carrots, bacon, toasted pecans and blue cheese.
- Reheat the bacon fat over medium heat.
- Sauté diced shallot until softened. Once soft, stir while gradually pouring in the maple/mustard mixture. Simmer for a few minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Plate up the salads and serve the warm maple bacon dressing drizzled over the top and more freshly ground black pepper.
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