Fall is in the air – time for apples! I’m always looking for new ways to use them, especially raw because I love the juicy crunch they provide to a dish. That’s why I came up with this quick and easy recipe for Chopped Salad with Apple, Pecans and Feta Cheese.
I have to admit, I love chopped salads. I know it’s kind of odd, but I don’t like to chop my own salad at the dinner table. When eating out at a restaurant, I always order my salad “chopped and tossed, please”. When making salads at home, I either chop the greens (as in this salad) or tear them into bite-sized pieces. It just makes it easier for people to eat.
In this recipe, I combine chopped hearty greens (like baby kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula) with chopped apples, pecans and feta cheese – and then add dried cranberries, golden raisins and blueberries for a pop of color and sweetness. Then it’s all tossed with a white balsamic and olive oil mixture.
I really love cooking with the flavored vinegar and olive oils that are becoming more and more available these days. In this dish, I use a pomegranate-quince white balsamic and a lime-flavored olive oil for the dressing. (You can order them here.) As I indicate below, you can substitute regular white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil if you prefer. Either way, the resulting combination of flavors is scrumptious! I have served it at several dinner parties (my friends love being testers) to rave reviews.
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Quick and easy to prepare, Chopped Salad with Apples, Pecans and Feta Cheese is a colorful, elegant, side salad. Hearty greens are mixed with chopped apples, pecans, feta, dried cranberries and golden raisins, then tossed with a simple vinaigrette.
- 15 ounces mixed hearty greens (baby kale, baby spinach, Swiss chard and/or arugula), chopped*
- 1 large granny smith apple, cored and chopped
- 4 ounces (1 tub) feta cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (dried cranberries, golden raisins, blueberries)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate-quince white balsamic vinegar (can also use regular white balsamic)
- 3 tablespoons lime olive oil (can also use extra virgin olive oil)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the chopped greens, apple, feta cheese, pecans and dried fruit.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Shortly before serving, toss the salad with half of the dressing. Add more as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*if using regular not baby kale, make sure to remove thick stems