Recently, my husband and I tried to add more fruits and veggies to our diets. In warm weather I have no problem fulfilling this goal. Come cold months I want all the bread and melty cheese dishes. So I am sharing this flavorful salad because it is so delicious and filling. It is also really easy to alter as your taste buds see fit.
My husband likes to say you can’t win friends with salad, but this one might be an exception!
Anything with apples feels like a perfect autumn dish. We are so lucky to live close to amazing apple orchards and to have neighbors who are generous with their apple harvest.
Apple desserts, like this baked apple recipe are quintessential fall food. Adding apples to savory meals like salads, help keep us on track with our goal of increasing fruit and vegetable intake. Let’s get to it.
1. Gather ingredients.
Prepare a bowl of lettuce and other greens like spinach. I used about half of a 5 ounce container of baby spring mix for a main course salad for two people.
One package 20 oz bacon made two salads, plus breakfast burritos for my family and I (and a few stray strips as snacks).
2. Cook bacon.
Cook bacon until it is nice and crispy.
I like to bake my bacon in the oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The oven method is less messy.
Try to bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes, then flip and cook for another ten minutes.
If you prefer to fry your bacon, that is of course totally fine.
Another option is to use pre-cooked bacon. This is a great time savor if you’re in a pinch. Trader Joe has a yummy cooked bacon.
3. Slice apples.
While the bacon is cooking, slice a green Granny Smith apple. Use a mandoline if you prefer very thin slices.
Thinly slice into half circles or try small chunks.
4. Add walnuts.
I like to use candied walnuts when I make this salad.
Something about candied walnuts signifies autumn to me. Normally, I prep them on the stove top, but I recently tried baking them.
Depending on your preference, use raw or caramelized walnuts. Trader Joe carries really yummy candied walnuts if you need another time saver.
5. Add bleu cheese to the flavorful fall salad.
Not everyone likes blue cheese. My son in particular hates the smell.
Other soft cheeses like, feta or chevre cheese would also work well. Gorgonzola is another yummy (stinky) option.
6. Add dressing to salad.
My mother-in-law used to make this salad and serve it with ranch dressing.
I didn’t have ranch on hand so I made a dijon based dressing from scratch. Whether you make a salad dressing or buy one, there are many flavors that will compliment this fall salad.
6. Serve your flavorful fall salad!
At the last minute I threw on some dried cranberries. They compliment the tart green apples and tangy blue cheese.
After making this salad and working on this post, I looked up the best places to go apple picking. This list includes Washington state, while this article does not. However, it does list an orchard in California that I like very much. Is your state listed?
Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what your favorite type of salad is, or your favorite apple dish.
Ways to modify your flavorful fall salad:
- Add grilled chicken breast.
- Substitute feta cheese or gorgonzola for bleu cheese.
- Substitute pecans for walnuts.
- Don’t add bacon/serve bacon on the side to make the meal vegetarian-friendly.
- Use a different apple variety, like Pink Lady, Gala, Red or Honey Crisp etc.
- Sub out apples completely and serve the salad with pears instead.
- Toss in pomegranate seeds or dried fruits like cranberries.
Flavorful Fall Salad
- 1 Cutting board
- 1 salad bowl
- 1 Knife
- 1 Baking sheet
- 1 sheet of parchment paper
- 1 half Green Granny Smith Apple other apple varieties will work fine too
- 1 pack bacon use 3 strips or more to taste, and save remaining for other meals.
- 1 oz blue cheese substitute feta or other soft cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts raw or candied
- 1/4 cup dried cranberies optional
- 3 oz lettuce mix baby spring mix or other
- Wash and prep lettuce and arrange in a bowl.
- Cook bacon until crispy. I prefer to bake mine on a baking sheet line with parchment paper at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While bacon is cooking, slice apples in thin half circle shapes or chunks.
- Once bacon is cooked, set on a paper plate lined with paper towel to drain fat.
- Chop the cooked bacon once it is cooled.
- Add apples and bacon to salad bowl.
- If walnuts are whole, chop them into smaller bits. Candied walnuts are a great option to compliment the tangy green apple and blue cheese.
- Add walnuts and crumbled bleu cheese to salad mix.
- Toss in dried cranberries if desired.
- Dress salad with dressing you choose, like ranch or a vinaigrette. Toss and serve.