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I’m Andrea. I like to cook and bake and take photographs and write about life. Welcome to Bella Eats, where I share these passions of mine with you. I’m glad you’re here.

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Thursday
Oct132011

autumn salad with apples, blue cheese, + candied walnuts

And this, friends, would be an example of an AHubb meal. Or, an AHubb meal following a couple of weeks of BHubb meals, multiple food-centered editorial assignments, and a day-long photoshoot involving roughly 800oz of potato chips. Which, yes, we kept and distributed [mostly] to friends and family. With the fast approach of the holiday season and even heavier meals for impending Winter days, I've decided to challenge myself to create an interesting salad each week. To keep me on track, grounded, and hopefully in my current jeans. Not that I'll share each of them here. I know...you all really enjoy recipes more closely aligned with orecchiette carbonara and peach cakes. Who doesn't? But I thought, maybe, some of you might appreciate a few healthier options sprinkled here and there.

We all have those days when our jeans fit just a little tighter than the last, when we are craving something complex and hearty and cheesy for lunch but know we should choose the green salad instead. This recipe is my compromise. With a healthy dose of greens and apples, and a modest sprinkling of blue cheese and candied walnuts, it satisfies without the guilt. Make it lighter by omitting the candied walnuts and just sprinkling them on raw...but gosh, they sure are tasty.

Never fear...I'll be back tomorrow with a recipe for apple torte. :)

The combination of apples, blue cheese, and candied walnuts is well-loved and known for salads. Sometimes you just need a little reminder about an old favorite.

Autumn Salad with Apples, Blue Cheese, + Candied Walnuts

serves 4

Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 tart apple, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Candied Walnut Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1-1/2 cups halved walnuts

Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp grain mustard
  • 4 tbsp golden balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar if you can't find golden balsamic)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. First, candy the walnuts. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a heavy skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking, and allow to boil for 1 minute. Add the walnuts and stir to coat. Continue tossing until the syrup forms a glaze on the nuts, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to sheet of foil and quickly separate them with forks.
  2. Second, make the vinaigrette. Combine the mustard, vinegar, and honey in the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil to emulsify, processing for about 1 minute.
  3. Toss together the spinach and arugula. Place in a shallow serving dish. Add the apples and walnuts evenly across the top of the greens, then the crumbled blue cheese. Dress the salad on individual plates.

« torta di mele | apple tart | Main | orecchiette carbonara »

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Reader Comments (21)

This is gorgeous! It's also my kind of salad. Can't wait to try this!

10.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

These photos are gorgeous! I have eaten far too many salads in the past week (I'm almost to the point of swearing them off forever!) but this salad looks so delicious that I think I'll make something similar for lunch. :)

This salad is pure perfection. Love how the greatest things are sometimes the simplest. Wish I was enjoying it right now.

10.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEliana

I am SO into candied nuts!

And I think that salad would become a dinner salad with a thick slice of Dakota on the side :)

10.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKath

I am making this yummy salad for our guests next week! THANK YOU!

10.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCramer Photo

OH MY WORD! This looks amazing!

I love salads with apple and cheese. Those candied nuts = nice!

10.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTine

apples and cheese are gorgeous together, especially blue cheese, which is my favourite.
i have so many apples at the moment, and i'm really enjoying salads at the moment, so i'll be giving this a try.

10.14.2011 | Unregistered Commenterzoe

I love these kind of Fall salads and anything with blue cheese? Always good!

What a gorgeous looking salad and those candied nuts look fantastic! I love adding candied nuts to salads.

Oh my gosh, thank you all for the sweet comments!!!

10.14.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

Andrea, making this tomorrow night for some dinner guests. Cannot wait! Beautiful photos as always. :)

Yes, I LOVE your healthier option posts sprinkled in! Always nice to have fresh and beautiful ideas for the type of eating we aspire to the "majority of the time" in addition to treats and more special things. :) Thank you for peppering in your jeans-friendly creations once in a while! :) I learned a lot from your very early posts too- loved reading them. Inspiring to see meals put together with so many roasted veggies, etc. Thank you, Andrea!

oh why not? This salad is beautiful(like all your photos!), thanks for sharing! :)

10.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRuby

@Heather : I hope you and your guests enjoyed it!
@Sharon : I agree, and am so glad you're still here! I still go back to those old posts for inspiration to eat healthier. :)
@Ruby : You're welcome, and thank you!

10.16.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

This looks delish. I made a similar salad the other day with mixed greens, granny smith apples and candied walnuts with cranberry balsamic dressing.

10.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Measurement

These photos are breathtaking, and the salad is absolutely gorgeous!
So talented.. thanks for sharing!

10.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Apples on salads are a fan favorite in my house! The family just loves them- Beautiful shots!

You photos are amazing and totally what drew me to this salad! Of course the salad tasted fantastic. I took one sloppy picture for my legions of adoring fans (okay, 2 faithful readers) and linked back to you a couple of times. I think I also said that I owe you my first born for this salad too ;) so thanks!

11.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEncore

These candied walnuts are great! As is the dressing - tangy, sweet and delicious. Thanks for the inspiration and recipe for this delightful salad!

02.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I have just tried this - it's unbelievably good! This combination of flavours is genius, we loved it! Thank you for sharing.

03.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGiulia

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