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.
Chopped Pecan Apple Salad with 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.
Pecan Feta Apple Salad Ingredients
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.
What apples are good for salads?
For this salad, I prefer Granny Smith apples. They are crisp, adding crunch to the salad, and a bit tart, balancing out the sweetness of the dried cranberries, golden raisins and blueberries. (I’m also partial to fresh, juicy, sweet Honeycrisp and Gala in other salads, like my Apple Walnut Salad.)
How to Make Apple Pecan Salad with Feta Cheese
Here’s how to make this colorful, flavorful salad:
- Mix salad ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the chopped greens, apple, feta cheese, pecans and dried fruit.
- Prepare dressing.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Toss, season and serve.
Shortly before serving, toss the salad with half of the dressing. Add more as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Variations on this Salad with Apples and Pecans
There are many ways you can vary this recipe, either based on the ingredients you have on hand, your tastes – or simply to make it your own! Here are a few ideas:
- Use walnuts instead of pecans.
- Use goat cheese instead of feta cheese.
- Add in blueberries and/or chopped peaches.
- Add in chopped roast chicken to turn into a main dish salad.
What to Serve with this Apple Pecan Salad Recipe
I think this salad pairs well with:
- Grilled Rosemary-Dijon Chicken Breasts
- Lemon-Mustard Grilled Chicken
- Dry Rubbed Spiced Pork Tenderloin
- Braised Baby Back Ribs
- Carrot Vichyssoise
- Tomato Basil Bisque
Can pecan apple salad be made in advance?
Salad can be tossed without the apples and not dressed earlier in the day. Shortly before serving chop apples, add to salad and toss with dressing.
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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 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.
- Toss the salad with half of the dressing. Add more as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make ahead: Salad can be tossed without the apples and not dressed earlier in the day. Shortly before serving chop apples, add to salad and toss with dressing.