This post is sponsored by my friends at Riveridge Produce, but the opinions expressed are all mine, just as always. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support me.
We love salads at our house. They’re a relatively quick and easy way to put a delicious side on the table and can make a seriously delicious main course some night’s too! And while Jack could eat lettuce and ranch every night, we like to mix things up a bit.
Years back we started adding apples, blue cheese, and a tangy dressing to our salads and really loved the sweet and sour combo, so we often find that kind of salad on the table these days still.
Now in case y’all haven’t bought apples in the grocery store lately, there are quite a few options these days. I’ll admit that my most recent favorite was the Honeycrisp. It’s so bright, tangy, and crisp. But man can they be expensive! They’re also pretty delicate and don’t last very long. And then I found the EverCrisp. ~cue the angelic sounds~
The EverCrisp is a newer apple that’s a cross between a Honeycrisp and a Fuji. It’s got the crispness and effervescent flavor of the Honeycrisp, but the sturdiness of the Fuji. It’s perfect to be eaten fresh, all by itself, or to be put into fresh applications like this salad.
It is 100% our new favorite apple. And my entire family agrees. In fact, every single person I’ve shared them with has been super impressed with the flavor and texture.
And they’re available right now at your local Publix. Just be sure to grab enough for this salad and a few extra for snacking. You’ll thank me later.
So let’s talk about this salad…
Making the vinaigrette is as simple as whisking the ingredients together. This dressing recipe might have a few more ingredients than you typically see in my work, but I promise you it is 100% worth the extra little effort.
Plus, this is going to make enough dressing for more than one salad. So, you can store it in the fridge for another one, or just use it to dip more of those delicious EverCrisp apples in as a snack like I do.
The candied pecans are an extra step, too. But I’ve made them as easy as possible. You’ll have these ready in less than 15 minutes.
You can certainly buy some candied pecans at the grocery store to save a little time, too.
Both the dressing and the pecans can also be made in advance, if you’re pressed for time. Simply store the pecans at room temp in an airtight container. The dressing will keep in the fridge in a jar, or another airtight container, for a week or so.
The sweet and zesty dressing is the perfect complement to the mild lettuces and the sharp blue cheese. And of course, I had to throw some pecans in there.
Y’all are going to seriously love this salad and all the delicious flavor packed in it. And you’re going to love those apples, too!
Apple Pecan Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1 (11-ounce) package spring mix
- 3 EverCrisp Apples, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 to 6-ounces blue or gorgonzola cheese crumbles
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
For the Candied Pecans:
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
To make the candied pecans:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, add the butter, brown sugar, salt, and water. Stir until the butter and sugar has melted. Add the pecans and cook, stirring very frequently, for about 3 minutes - being cautious not to allow the mixture to scorch.
- Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon. Stir to combine. Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using on salad.
To make the dressing:
- Whisk the oil, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, lime juice, and pineapple juice together. Add the honey, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder and whisk to combine. Set aside.
For the salad:
- Add the spring mix to a large bowl and top with the apples, blue cheese, candied pecans, and cranberries. Drizzle with the desired dressing amount, then toss and serve.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.