Forget the Boys of Summer. Here we have the Side Salad of Fall.
I have no idea where I was going with that. Or why I even started with it. I should start again.
Really, what’s on my mind is something totally unrelated to salad. See, we’ve been through the wringer with one of our kittens, Blossom, over the past few days. She became deathly ill over the weekend and we didn’t think she was going to make it. As a last-ditch attempt to save her, we took her sister into the vet’s office to be with her. Fern snuggled up to her as always and within a few hours, Blossom’s body temperature began to climb. Two days later, both cats are – shockingly – back home with us and Blossom is slowly recovering. She’s not out of the woods yet but after a weekend of basically mourning our kitten and the roller coaster of it all, I admit it’s kind of hard to think of salad.
Salad, salad, salad. Thinking salad thoughts.
Okay, I’m there.
This Fall Green Salad with Apples & Pecans came from the desire to have a solid side salad recipe for this time of year. But I didn’t want it to be complicated. Because who wants to spend 45 minutes making a salad?! Not I.
And this one does start simply, with a light Maple-Cider Vinaigrette whisked up right in the salad bowl. Then we’ve got fresh greens, crisp apple matchsticks (I like Honeycrisp or Cameo best for this salad), and the crunch of a bit of celery. Toss it all up, toast up some pecans, top the salad, and voila!
Fall in a bowl.
My guy calls this side salad recipe “refreshing,” I call it “score!” Because not only is it delicious, it comes together in a flash. More time to snuggle with kittens.
Simple Fall Green Salad with Apples & Pecans
- 1 batch Cider Maple Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
- 1 medium honeycrisp or cameo apple (cut into thin matchsticks)
- Juice of half a lemon (about 2 teaspoons (optional)*)
- 1 small head green leaf lettuce (or your favorite mild greens, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups))
- 1 stalk celery (sliced (about 1/2 cup))
Cider Maple Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add all ingredients for the Cider-Maple Vinaigrette to the bottom of your salad bowl. Whisk until blended. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread pecans on a rimmed cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven and cook, stirring once or twice, until fragrant and slightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- If desired, in a small bowl, toss the apple matchsticks with the lemon juice. This will help prevent them from browning - see note below.
- Add lettuce, apples, and celery to the salad bowl. Toss until all of the greens are lightly coated with the dressing.
- Top with toasted pecans and serve.