I have a salad for our Monday, friends.
I know that doesn’t sound very exciting, but I promise you, this salad is anything but boring. It’s a salad you’ll actually look forward to eating. It is chock full of fall flavors and is a scrumptious way to eat a full meal of fruit and veggies.
I made this salad last week and I haven’t been able to get enough since. I think I’ve had this three times since last Wednesday? It’s GOOD. All the flavors of fall in one bowl!
We’ve got honeycrisp apples. Loads of ’em. I eat them in excess this time of year. As many as I can get my hands on. They are my favorite apple and not just because they are all the rage. They really are as good as everyone says they are, and when their fleeting season arrives each year, I stock up like an insane person. I devote an entire crisper drawer in my fridge to honeycrisp apples. No joke.
As a result, aside from the simple apple snack, I am constantly trying to work them into our meals. Salads are a no-brainer use for honeycrisps. They add the best juicy crunch and a tart, tangy sweetness that I can’t get enough of.
In addition to the apples, we have roasted butternut squash (a fall staple) and brussels sprouts (yum). They both add a ton of flavor and texture to this salad, and because I roast them in a little olive oil, they add some richness to the situation. They are what make you feel like you just ate a full meal. The heft to the salad, if you will.
Then we’ve got toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and pomegranate arils. Three staples to any fall salad, in my book. They add crunch, flavor, and color. All necessary!
The greens here are almost an afterthought. You can use your favorite green here, but I recommend a mix of baby greens. This bowl had a combo of baby kale, arugula, and spinach. I love the varying textures a mix of greens brings to the salad, even though they really are the least exciting thing in the bowl.
Finally, we’ve got the apple cider vinaigrette. OMG. It’s so good. Almost drinkable. I like to reduce down some apple cider in a saucepan until it’s thickened slightly and all that amazing apple flavor has been condensed and intensified. I whisk in apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, a smidge of maple syrup, and the real kicker: a pinch of cinnamon! The cinnamon makes this entire dish, believe it or not. It adds warmth and bit of spice but in the most subtle way. You won’t necessarily notice that it’s cinnamon, but it is the kicker in this recipe. Trust.
Everything gets tossed in the amazing dressing and then served up in a giant bowl. If a salad could ever make you feel like it’s hugging you, it’s this salad. Despite it being a salad, it’s cozy and comforting and completely delicious.
And let’s be real for a second: this salad is sort of high maintenance, right? You have to roast veggies, reduce down apple cider to make a dressing, and then chop and assemble everything. But! It’s a full meal. And that is my one requirement of a salad (aside from it being delicious) that I am going to call my dinner. It has to be worth the work while still satisfying me. And this one really does just that.
I love meals like this this time of year because I often find myself overdoing it a little bit on all the fall baked goods and cozy pastas and soups that we all gravitate toward this time of year. It balances everything out. My mantra these days is to eat at least one big-ass salad a day for balance, and this one has been on repeat.
An apple a day, right?
This Honeycrisp Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect fall salad! It’s full of honeycrisp apples, roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts, and pomegranate arils, and topped with a delicious apple cider dressing! Fall in a bowl!
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 cups halved brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- ½ cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 8 cups mixed baby greens
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- 2 honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
- ½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the squash and brussels sprouts out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over top and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the veggies in the seasoning and oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for another 5-10 minutes. The brussels sprouts should be caramelized and crisp in spots and the squash should be tender.
- Set aside to cool.
For the Vinaigrette:
- While the veggies are roasting, bring the apple cider to a simmer in a small saucepan. Simmer until the cider is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the reduced cider into a medium bowl and whisk in the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Slowly stream the olive oil into the bowl, whisking the mixture constantly.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
For the Salad:
- To a large bowl add the greens, pomegranate arils, apples, nuts, dried cranberries, and the roasted vegetables.
- Add a little bit of dressing, toss, and then taste. Add more dressing, along with a pinch of salt, as needed.
- Serve immediately.
- Category: salad
Keywords: honeycrisp apple recipe, honeycrisp apple salad, harvest salad recipe, apple cider dressing recipe, apple cider vinaigrette recipe, vegetarian meals, roasted butternut squash recipe