Way back when I started this blog, I intended to write about a variety of subjects. Like Cookie, of course, as well as interior design and fashion and whatnot. I promptly discovered that I didn’t feel good pushing unnecessary material goods and ran out of content. I was stuck—I couldn’t post Cookie pics all week long and expect people to come back for more. (Or could I?)
Fortunately, I discovered that I could share recipes on the internet, which gave me something to write about and photograph. Healthy, attainable, feel-good recipes, those are my jam. Like this salad, which has been my default lately. I made it three times for each of my three Thanksgiving feasts (two friendsgivings and one family Thanksgiving!), and it received a warm welcome at each table.
I usually try to outdo myself when it comes to salads, but I kept this one simple. It’s nice to have a favorite green salad to pair with winter soups and heavier holiday/comfort foods, like lasagna. This salad goes great with my creamy pumpkin soup and Thai curried butternut soup.
If you feel like changing this salad up, I think roasted winter squash would be a welcome addition, as well as warmed, leftover cooked grains. Actually, you might want to check out a few of my more involved salads while you’re at it. There’s this fennel and kale salad, or Deb’s kale salad, or this roasted delicata squash salad. Let’s hear it for salads!
Favorite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 side salads
- Category: Salad
My favorite fresh salad featuring healthy greens, sliced apple, toasted pepitas, dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese. Toss with my simple apple cider vinaigrette (recipe below) or take a shortcut and use store-bought balsamic dressing instead. Buy organic greens and apple to avoid pesticides. Recipe yields 2 full-sized salads or 4 side salads.
- 5 ounces (about 5 cups) spring greens salad blend
- 1 large Granny Smith apple
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- 2 ounces chilled goat cheese, crumbled (or about ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese)
Apple cider vinaigrette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Toast the pepitas: In a medium-sized skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are turning golden on the edges and making little popping noises. Transfer the pepitas to a small bowl to cool.
- Make the dressing: In a cup or jar, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Just before serving, chop the apple into thin, bite-sized pieces. Place your greens in a large serving bowl. Top with sliced apple, dried cranberries and toasted pepitas. Use a fork to crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Drizzle the salad with just enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves once tossed (you probably won’t need all of it). Gently toss to mix all of the ingredients and serve!
Serving suggestions: This salad would go well with any of my other winter recipes! For real.
Make it vegan: Substitute maple syrup for the honey and omit the cheese.
Storage suggestions: Spring greens wilt quickly once they’ve been tossed with dressing, so store dressing separately from the greens. Apples oxidize quickly once they’re cut open, so I chop them just before serving the salad. For a salad with more longevity, swap chopped kale for the spring greens (like this). Bonus? The dressing will keep the chopped apples looking fresh.