This Harvest Apple and Pear Fall Salad tossed in Apple Cider Vinaigrette is made with fresh greens, crisp Autumn fruit, smoky bacon, tangy feta and sweet-sticky cider dressing. This recipe makes for the perfect hearty fall lunch or supper side salad! If you love this recipe, you will also love this Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad.
I’m pretty excited for this Fall season. This year I’m kickin’ it Southern-style and enjoying countless more days in the hot, sunny weather.
Although I’m living out an extended Summer dream with most of my time in Dallas, I still look forward to Autumn produce. Figs, pomegranates, pears, grapes and pumpkin all exist on the long list of delicious Fall fruits and veggies. I find myself raiding farmer’s markets and bringing home more than I could ever eat. So, I make salads!
Salads are simple, refreshing meals that allow us to get creative and use what’s in the pantry! This Hearty Harvest Fall Salad is crisp and light while still being robust and filling. Believe me, this is a salad you’re going to crave.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT FALL SALAD
Here’s my take: salads should be simple. If I’ve gotta work hard to eat my greens is it really that worth it? Probably not. That’s where this quick, easy-to-toss-together salad comes in!
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Salad:
- Mixed Greens – be sure to use fresh, rinsed greens; they should be vibrant in color and crisp in texture. Avoid limp, discolored greens. I love using a mix that contains arugula, kale, spinach and, when I’m feeling fancy, mustard greens!
- Pear – any variety will work but I suggest using a pear on the riper side; there should be a little give when you press into the skin. Anjous and Seckels are my favorite!
- Apple – again, anything goes! I prefer to use Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious or Fuji.
- Chopped Bacon – crisp, smoky bacon adds textural contrast and a salty, flavorful bite.
- Feta Cheese – feta is tangy, rich and slightly salty. The fat content also adds buttery richness!
For the Vinaigrette:
- Apple Cider – cider is made from fermented apple juice which gives it a tangy, buttery taste. It’s almost like apple juice and white wine had a baby. Feel me? It makes for the perfect base to an Autumn-inspired salad.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – acidic vinegar helps to cut through fat and balance sweetness.
- Minced Shallots – shallots are more delicate, softer and less abrasive than onions. I find that the flavor of a shallot is mellower and better suited for salads.
- Honey – sticky and sweet, honey brings together the dressing and layers in sugary richness.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – olive oil just adds a bit of fat to make this salad as decadent as possible.
MAKE IT YOURS!
Let’s be honest, salad recipes are never intended to be strictly followed; they’re designed to be made out of anything you’ve got. As long as you’ve got fresh greens, a few seasonal toppings and a yummy dressing, you’ve got a delicious salad in the making!
GRANDBABY CAKES’ BEST FALL RECIPES
Autumn-inspired recipes are intended to be warm and comforting. From noodle soups to slow-roasted chickens, the Fall season has something to offer everyone. I love pairing this simple salad with a creamy soup, rich chili or a tender, juicy cut of meat.
Try creating your own unique combo using one of my favorite Fall recipes:
- CHICKEN CHILI WITH BLACK EYED PEAS
- CARROT GINGER SOUP
- BROWN SUGAR MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST
- POTATO SOUP WITH CRUNCHY KALE
Harvest Fall Salad
For the Salad
- 7 oz mixed green salad rinsed
- 1 pear thinly sliced
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 4 cooked bacon slices chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
For the Dressing
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced shallots
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad
- Combine all salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss together.
For the Vinaigrette
- Add apple cider, apple cider vinegar and shallots to a small pan over high heat.
- Bring the liquids to a boil and cook for about 7 or 8 minutes or until it has reduced to about ½ cup then remove from heat.
- Allow cider liquid to cool slightly then add to a bowl.
- Whisk in remaining ingredients until it is completely smooth and well mixed.
- Pour over salad and toss together and serve.