This is a great fall salad recipe. If you are lucky enough to be able to source freshly picked apples it is outstanding. But, since apples are available all year round in most places you can make it any time.
I like to use pecan halves for the candied nuts. If the nut pieces are too fine they sort of get lost in the mix. With the halves - you know when you get one! You can use walnuts instead of pecans if you prefer.
I think it might also be good with dried cranberries instead of the dates. I haven't tried that yet but if anyone does let me know how you liked it!
Update Nov 11, 2016. I changed the photo of this salad to better reflect it. Sorry for any confusion... the other pic just had to go!!
Apple Pecan Salad
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup walnut oil
- 1 ½ Tbsps champagne vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ cups pecan pieces I like halves
- 8 cups romaine lettuce or sturdy greens of your choice
- 2 red apples unpeeled, diced (store in lemon water to avoid browning)
- 6 oz old Cheddar cheese grated
- 1 ½ cups dates finely chopped
- 4 large shallots finely minced
- Mix all dressing ingredients and shake well.
- Mix the sugar and balsamic vinegar in a non-stick skillet. Melt the sugar and vinegar over medium heat then add pecans to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar mix is reduced and syrupy enough to coat the nuts - about 8 minutes but this will vary depending on your heat level and size of pan. Be careful not to burn this mixture.
- When nuts are thickly coated pour them out in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper to let them cool and harden. Break the nuts apart when they are cool.
- Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and incorporate nuts just before serving.