Apple Orchard Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 5 ounces mixed greens (spring mix, spinach, arugula, or your favorite blend)
  • 2 large apples, your choice of variety (Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny Smith all work well), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 1/2 cup granola (optional, for extra crunch)

For the Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Make the vinaigrette

  • In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Caramelize onions (optional)

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add one thinly sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, or until onions are soft and deeply golden.

3. Assemble the salad

  • Place the mixed greens in a large salad bowl.
  • Top with the sliced apples, dried cranberries, pecans (or walnuts), cheese, granola (if using), and caramelized onions (if using).

4. Dress and Serve

  • Drizzle the maple-dijon vinaigrette over the salad. Toss gently to coat all ingredients.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tips

Get creative with mix-ins: Try crumbled goat cheese or feta, different nuts, or other dried fruits.

Make-ahead: Prepare the dressing a day or two in advance. Assemble the salad just before serving to keep it fresh.

Adjust sweetness: If you prefer a sweeter dressing, add a little more maple syrup to taste.

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