Fall Garden Salad with Apples and Walnuts

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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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