Oh my! This salad! I can’t stop thinking about it. It is one of the best salads I’ve ever had. I think I could drink the dressing, it is so good. There is just nothing like homemade vinaigrette. The dressing is just as important to me as the salad as that is pretty much why I eat the salad. And if the salad doesn’t have enough dressing on it, I am not a happy camper. I always order extra dressing at restaurants, and in this day and age where most women dip their fork into the dressing and then into a piece of lettuce so they don’t get too much, the server usually looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. (If that’s true, just put me in a padded cell with this salad and plenty of dressing, and I’ll be happy)! Really, though, you have to choose which food is important to splurge on, and for me salad dressing is one of them, along with ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies! (If I start to put chocolate chip cookies or ice cream on my salad, then you may need to start worrying!):)
Not only is this dressing amazing, though, the ingredients in the salad are just about as good as it gets! With apples, bacon, feta, candied pecans, and Craisins, you have that whole salty/sweet thing going on and every bite is bursting with flavor. The slight tang of the balsamic vinaigrette compliments the flavors perfectly. The colors are so pretty too, it is like having fall in a bowl and makes a beautiful presentation.
I found this recipe on Cooking Classy‘s blog. She added chicken to this salad to make it more of a main dish, but we were having chicken for dinner, so I left it out and made it as a side. I’m sure I will be making it again both ways in the future. She has so many delicious recipes on her site, she is usually the first one I check out when I am looking for a particular food or need an idea for dinner. Every one of hers that I’ve tried has been so flavorful as well as using easily accessible ingredients. I’m so glad to have found this recipe for such a beautiful and scrumptious fall salad. I hope you try it. I know you’ll go crazy for it as well!:)
Apple, Bacon, and Candied Pecan Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and diced
- 2 medium apples, sliced
- 1/3 to 1/2 c chopped, candied pecans or walnuts
- 5 oz. spring mix and spinach lettuce blend
- 6 oz. crumbled feta or blue cheese
- 1/3 to 1/2 c Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 c canola oil
- 3 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- In a mason jar or blender, add oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, finely diced shallot, salt, and pepper. Either shake with lid on in the jar or blend in the blender until well emulsified and thickened slightly.
- Layer all salad ingredients into individual salad bowls or 1 large bowl.
- Serve drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
- Store any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe slightly adapted by Cook AZ I Do, originally from Cooking Classy