Apple and Mixed Greens with Apple-Truffle Vinaigrette is an elegant, light and refreshing first course or side salad. And, it’s easy to prepare, too!
I love fresh, crunchy, juicy apples, and think they are a great addition to salads. The first salad I created with apples was my Chopped Salad with Apple Feta and Pecans, which is super delicious. In fact, it’s such a popular recipe on my website I decided to create another apple salad.
Around the time I was creating this recipe, I attended a fundraising event at the Four Seasons Hotel, where they served a first course salad with apples and a truffle dressing. It was amazing! So, I set out to create my own version, and this scrumptious recipe for Apple and Mixed Greens with Apple-Truffle Vinaigrette is the result.
To be honest, it did take me a few tries to get this recipe right. Mixed greens + apple + pecans was a no brainer – these ingredients are the foundation of my other apple salad recipe. To mix it up a bit, I decided to “candy” the pecans (toasting them with sugar and butter). The candied pecan and apple combination reminds me of the candied apples that I ate as a kid! The Four Seasons added fried potato strings to their salad. Making it easier, I tried prepared shoestring potatoes with mine. Perfect! They add a nice contrasting texture and flavor.
At this point, the dressing for my salad was the issue. The hotel graciously shared their recipe, but when I made it at home, neither Robert nor I liked it. Bleh. Sometimes it happens that restaurant ingredients or methods just don’t seem to translate well to the home kitchen. Not giving up, I did some experimenting, and eventually came up with this Apple-Truffle Vinaigrette. It has just the right balance of sweet and tangy, with just the right amount of apple and truffle flavor. And, it’s the perfect complement to the mixed greens, apples, pecans and shoestring potatoes. We love it, and hope you do, too!
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- 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 to 5 teaspoons white truffle oil (see Note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, medium pack
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Kosher salt, to taste
Mixed Greens Salad
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks
- 10 ounces mixed greens (I like bagged “mixed spring greens”)
- 1/2 cup (8 ounce) prepared shoestring potatoes
Apple Truffle Vinaigrette
- Place apple juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, truffle oil, shallots and garlic in a blender and mix well.
- With the motor running, slowly add olive oil. Season to taste with salt.
- Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, then chopped pecans. Cook, stirring, until sugar is melted and nuts are lightly toasted, around 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and quickly transfer nuts onto waxed or parchment paper, separating the pecan pieces as much as possible. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Set aside to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, break into smaller pieces as needed. Place on paper towel to soak up any grease from the butter.
- Arrange mixed greens on 4 individual salad plates, or on one large serving platter.
- Top with apple matchsticks and candied pecans; drizzle with some of the vinaigrette.
- Top with matchstick potatoes.
- Pass additional dressing on the side.
Make ahead: Vinaigrette and candied pecans can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and store dressing in the refrigerator. Nuts can be covered and stored at room temperature.
Note on truffle oil: I recommend only using white truffle oil, not black. In my testing, black truffle oil flavor was too strong in this vinaigrette. White truffle oil can be found in specialty stores and some major grocery stores.
- Category: Side salad, easy entertaining, gluten free