Fall Garden Salad with Apples and Walnuts

I ate this fall garden salad, or something pretty close to it, every day last week. I simply could not get enough of this combo of homegrown greens, chopped apples, and walnuts.

You probably already know how terrific kale is for you- it’s extremely high in antioxidants and minerals including calcium- but are you familiar with sorrel? It’s got such an interesting, rather sour flavor and it’s very high in vitamin C. I’ve had great luck growing it in my garden this year, and I love that it’s hardy even in very cold weather. If you are a gardener, I strongly suggest planting some.

You can certainly make this with whatever greens you have on hand, though, and don’t feel you have to use apples and walnuts. How about pears and pecans? Oh, and how about candying those pecans first…and throwing in some dried cranberries? Sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving Day salad to me. And if you’re looking for a way to use your turkey leftovers, chop and toss some in here. Yum.

I made this a few times with goat cheese, and while I certainly adore its mellow creaminess, I also love this salad with a more assertive cheese like Gorgonzola. I am guessing a sharp cheddar would also be great.

apple walnut salad

I like to give the greens a bit of “massaging” with the dressing to tenderize them (it’s mostly the kale that benefits from this treatment), and I found that this salad wasn’t harmed in the least by being stored in the refrigerator overnight already dressed (most salads get wilty and gross when you do that, but this one really doesn’t). Feel free to scale this recipe up to feed a larger crowd.

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More spectacular fall salads:

Apple, Pecan, and Gorgonzola salad from Chaos in the Kitchen
Apple and Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts Salad from Joy the Baker
Kale and Apple Salad from Gena Knox at Design Sponge
Spinach and Kale Salad with Pear Vinaigrette from For The Love of Food

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Recipe for Fall Garden Salad with Apples and Walnuts


For the salad:

  • *2 loosely packed cups of lettuce torn into bite sized pieces (I used homegrown green leaf lettuce)
  • *1 loosely packed cup of shredded kale I used Tuscan kale
  • *1 loosely packed cup of sorrel I used homegrown; if you can't find sorrel, use additional lettuce or kale
  • *1/2 cup chopped apple or more to taste (I used a local Golden Delicious apple)...you could also slice the apple for a very pretty presentation
  • *cubed flesh from 1/2 ripe avocado
  • *1/4 cup chopped walnuts or more to taste
  • *2 tablespoons crumbled Bleu or Gorgonzola cheese this salad is also delicious with goat cheese, or more to taste
  • *Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

  • *1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil or use olive oil
  • *1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • *1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • 1. Toss greens together in a medium bowl.
  • 2. In a smaller bowl, mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the greens. Using very clean hands, massage the dressing into the greens. This will help to tenderize them a bit.
  • 3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the greens, toss gently, then sprinkle with cheese and freshly ground black pepper before serving.

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34 thoughts on “Fall Garden Salad with Apples and Walnuts”

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  3. This type of salad is my all-time favourite–I just love the combination of flavours, and yours looks so yummy! Apples, nuts, greens and cheese together is a beautiful thing!

  4. can you just come over and make me this salad every day this week? I love the greens, the cheese and the nuts!! Yes, this is a perfect salad.

  5. What, you ate this every day for a week? (ONLY?)
    With kale, lettuce, apple in a combo and your photos, I could eat this for the rest of my life!:) (yeah, every day!)

  6. This does look just too good! I tend to eat the same thing again and again if I really like it. Thank you so much for sharing this fresh fall salad with me. I hope you have a lovely end to your week!

  7. This salad looks great! I got sorrel in my CSA box this year and had never had it before. I really enjoyed it! I also love that your threw apples in this salad. That brings the perfect amount sweetness….yum!

  8. Delicious. Beautiful. I love discovering new recipes to eat, especially healthy ones like this during these cooler months; coupled with (I love anything maple). This may become a staple at our dinner table.

  9. Hi Winnie! Gorgeous. You always bring such great healthy flavors to the fore front, highlighted in simplicity. I don’t eat kale in salads very often (hardly ever) mostly in stews and soups, but I love how you massaged the dressing into the kale to soften it up. A really clever suggestion for a tough little green.

  10. My neighbor has swiss chard and kale growing in their yard and it always makes me wish we had more room to grow our own!

  11. its like a healthier version of a waldorf – replacing the mayonnaise with super duper greens. it looks really good and i can’t wait until my greens are ready for harvest. :)

  12. Winnie, this looks awesome! I’ve been put off by raw kale salads in the past but you’re right, letting it sit and tenderize for a bit works wonders. The dressing sounds really delicious.

  13. Apples, walnuts (or pecans) and greens are one of my favourite combinations for salads at any time of the year. We’ve been slacking a bit in eating our greens recently but my own recent version of this salad reminded me how easy it is to make a tasty nutritious salad in a few minutes. This looks wonderful – especially with the addition of kale and blue or gorgonzola!

  14. I’ve been looking for more ways to get raw kale into our diet, and this salad looks awesome. I LOVE the tip about massaging it to tenderize the leaves a bit….brilliant!

  15. O.K., I’m ready to toss aside my home-made spaghetti dinner that’s cooking right now for a plateful or two of this salad. Beautiful!

  16. Ditto what Kelsey said – I have been nibbling since the time change – odd – might as well eat something healthy like your gorgeous salad.

  17. I have some leftover goat cheese in the fridge, this salad is so what my body needs right now. My busy schedule has me all out of whack, can I come over for a plate of this? :)

  18. This looks really great! I would love to do this with kale slighly steamed and a stronger cheese and probably a bit more dressing? Thanks for sharing. The pictures were great!