This gorgeous Holiday Honeycrisp Salad is full of flavor and texture, with fresh apple slices, crunchy toasted pecans, chewy dried cranberries, zippy blue cheese, and a tangy-sweet apple cider vinaigrette. It's perfect as a Christmas salad, a Thanksgiving salad, for a dinner party, or as part of a regular weeknight dinner!
½cuplight vegetable oilsuch as sunflower or safflower OR extra-virgin olive oil
¼cupapple cider vinegar
¼cupunsweetened apple juice OR apple cider
2 to 3tablespoonshoney
Freshly ground black pepperto taste
3medium Honeycrisp apples (about 1 pound)thinly sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
12ouncessalad greensspring mix, baby spinach, arugula, baby romaine, OR a combo of your favorites
1cuppecan halvestoasted or candied
¾cupdried cranberries OR dried cherries
4ouncescrumbled blue cheese
To prepare Apple Cider Vinaigrette, measure oil, apple cider vinegar, apple juice/cider, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a mason jar. Tightly screw on lid and shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you may briskly whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl, or blend them in a blender or mini food processor.
Place apple slices in a large plastic baggie and squeeze the fresh lemon juice (from the lemon half) over them. Close bag and shake to coat. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, apple slices, pecans, dried cranberries, and blue cheese. Just before serving, dress with desired amount of Apple Cider Vinaigrette and toss until salad ingredients are evenly coated.
You may prep the individual components of this salad ahead of time and then assemble everything just before serving.A day or two ahead of time:
Make the vinaigrette and store in the refrigerator. Before using, allow it to come to room temperature and then shake well.
Toast the pecans, allow to completely cool, and store in an airtight container.
Wash and dry the salad greens (if they're not already washed).
A few hours ahead of time on the same day:
Cut the apples and shake the slices with a generous amount of lemon juice. Squeeze the air out of the bag and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the salad. Honeycrisp apples will typically hold their bright color (shaken with lemon juice) for several hours. Other varieties of softer apples (such as Gala) will brown more quickly, so those shouldn't be sliced and shaken with lemon juice until just before serving.