I make and eat a ton of salads, and I love coming up with interesting salad combinations. This one, complete with shaved parsnip, carrot, and apple, is one of my new favorites.
The cheese is optional, of course, or you can feel free to substitute goat cheese for the feta. You could use pecans instead of the walnuts, and you could add 1/2 cup dried cranberries. If you do add the cranberries, this goes beyond the perfect fall salad and becomes the perfect salad for Thanksgiving…
Fall Salad with Shaved Parsnip, Carrot, Apple and Honey Roasted Walnuts
Ingredients for the honey roasted walnuts:
*1 cup walnuts
*1/4 cup honey
*1 tablespoon butter
*1 pinch ground cinnamon
*1 pinch ground ginger
*1 pinch course sea salt
Ingredients for the salad:
*4 cups chopped red or green leaf lettuce or mixed baby greens, rinsed and dried
*4 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
*1 large parsnip, peeled and then shaved lengthwise
*1 large carrot, peeled and then shaved lengthwise
*1 honeycrisp or Fuji apple, peeled and then shaved lengthwise
*1/2 cup goat or sheep milk feta cheese, crumbled
*1 cup honey roasted walnuts
*1/3 cup olive oil
*1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*1 teaspoon honey
*1/2 shallot, peeled and minced
*2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*1/2 cup dried cranberries-optional
Directions for the honey roasted walnuts:
1. Pre-heat oven to 300°F.
2. Combine the honey and the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the butter has melted.
3. Place the walnuts into a medium sized bowl and pour the honey-butter mixture over them; add the spices and salt and mix well so that the walnuts are coated.
Directions for the salad:
1. Place the greens, shaved parsnip, carrot and apple, feta cheese and walnuts in a large salad bowl. Mix well.
2. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey and minced shallot to make the dressing.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to combine. Garnish with the dried cranberries, if desired, and serve immediately.
4. Bake the walnuts for 15-20 minutes, tossing mid-way through, until crispy; watch closely so that they do not burn. Once out of the oven, they will continue to crisp and the honey will harden as they cool. Set aside.