Look no further than my apple salad with celery and walnuts if you want a fabulous fall themed recipe for a luncheon, a dinner, or a fresh addition to your Thanksgiving table. This crunchy salad is healthy and delicious!
my crisp apple salad is a fresh nod to fall
I always gravitate to salads where leafy greens aren’t the headliner ingredient. Nothing against leafy greens, I love them, but salads with a heartier profile are always welcome on my plate. This one is just perfect for any fall meal you can imagine, from the loftiest Thanksgiving dinner to your next clear out the fridge meal.
5 ingredients for the perfect fall apple salad
- apples ~ you’ll need 1 or 2. Just cut off the ‘cheeks’ and slice them into thin half moons.
- celery ~ I trim the ragged top off a head of celery and then just thinly slice what I need, on an angle. You’ll get lots of those inner stalks and leaves, which are my favorite.
- walnuts ~ toasted, of course. Never underestimate the impact of a toasted nut, the flavor and crunch are the best.
- red onion ~ because I can’t imagine a salad without it.
- arugula ~ a nice hardy leaf that can stand up to the other ingredients and helps loosen up this chunky salad.
a great dressing is half the battle (am I right?)
I have a well stocked (groaning) pantry that includes various oils and vinegars, so I chose walnut oil and apple cider vinegar as the base for my dressing. Dijon mustard and a dab of honey helps it emulsify into a golden vinaigrette with a creamy consistency. A salad is nothing without that punch of dressing, so it’s never an afterthought in my recipes. Use olive oil if you don’t have walnut.
change it up!
- Try this same format with pears and pecans.
- You could substitute thinly sliced fennel for the celery.
- Instead of arugula you could use baby spinach or watercress.
- If you love cheese in your salads, add crumbled feta, shaved Parm, or little globs of goat cheese.
- A little bacon never hurts!
more fall salads
Just when you thought fresh salads were gone with the summer breeze, these hearty recipes step into the breach. They’re some of my personal favorites on the site!
- Kale and Fall Fruit Salad with Cider Poppy Seed Dressing
- Beet and Wild Rice Salad with Spiced Pecans
- Roasted Apple and Radicchio Salad
- Roasted Beet and Burrata Salad
- Fig and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Nectarine Vinaigrette
- Apple, Fennel, and Salami Salad
- Rye and Carrot Salad
- Wheat Berry Salad with Beets and Feta
- Pear Salad with Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette
Apple Salad with Celery and Walnuts
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (see instructions in the recipe notes)
- 1-2 apples, depending on size
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery (include those inner leaves)
- 1/4 cup thin red onion slices
- 4 cups (or 4 handfuls) arugula
- 4 Tbsp walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil)
- 4 Tbsp cider vinegar Note: I like my dressings on the tart side. Just reduce the vinegar if you don't.
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch salt
- To assemble the salad, put your arugula in the bottom of a wide shallow salad bowl.
- Top with the sliced apples, celery, red onions, and walnuts.
- Put the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid, and shake vigorously to emulsify it into a creamy consistency. Taste to adjust to your liking.
- Lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad (you may not need all of it) and toss well.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Spread nuts out in a single layer on a dry baking sheet.
- Roast for 12-15 minutes, giving the nuts a stir once or twice to encourage even toasting.
- Let cool before using.