Apples are in season and everywhere! After picking a bushel and a half of apples and already having 6-10 pounds of Granny Smith apples we are making apple everything, including quick, easy, tasty salads! Perfect for lunch or dinner, or even as a side to whatever you are cooking up tonight. There is so much flavor packed into this salad, greens, apples, walnuts, dates, and optional gorgonzola or feta cheese. Spinach makes a great base for this salad but if you want to mix things up it is also delicious with a spinach arugula blend or spinach and baby kale blend. Kids love this salad, maybe it’s the apples but hey it’s a salad the whole family can enjoy which is a win. The dressing is a light vinaigrette that is messaged or tossed with the greens. If you are looking for a little bit sweeter dressing or a packaged option we like Salad Girl Apple Maple Dressing that I get at Target or Whole Foods. You can pretty much use any apple you have in the house I like a crisp apple that isn’t too soft so something like Gala, Fuji, Honey Crisp, or for a tarter option Granny Smith apples pair well too. If you don’t have dates or aren’t a fan of dates you can sub dried cranberries. If adding cheese to the salad I like to ad gorgonzola for the bite, and a little goes a long way and adds a lot of flavor, but feta is also a good option. Like I always say I like to think of my recipes as inspiration, you can adjust as you want and add too them, subtract, and play around. I can’t always guarantee the results if you are removing something like sugar from a recipe or subbing something completely different but hey you don’t know if you don’t try and salads are pretty safe to play around with so make it to suit your tastes. I try to list options where things can be subbed out but I don’t think of or try everything.
So a funny little story and to give you a glimpse of life when I made this salad again to photograph it I plated it but then had to run so I wanted to show that even if it doesn’t look as pretty it can taste just as good. Real life, sometimes I just throw the salad together in the container and run to soccer, school to have lunch with the girls, or where every my day takes me.
Apple Date Salad
Makes 1 serving or 2 smaller side dish servings, easily multiplied for family size
5 oz spinach, spring mix, or mix of spinach and arugula or baby kale (used blend of arugla and baby spinach)
1 apple, like Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Zestar, or Granny Smith for a tarter flavor
1 TBSP chopped walnuts or pecans
1-2 Medjool dates pitted and chopped, or you could sub dried cranberries
1-2 TBSP gorgonzola or feta cheese, optional
Simple dressing below or I like Salad Girl Crisp Apple Maple Dressing (we get at Target or Whole Foods, it is a little sweeter but delicious on this salad)
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP apple cider, or 1 tsp pure maple syrup
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil or hemp oil
1 tsp dejon mustard
sea salt and pepper to taste
A little dressing goes a long way and you don’t want the greens to sit in a puddle. Slice or chop your apple and remove the seeds. Toss with the greens and a drizzle of dressing messaging it into the salad using just enough to coat the apples and greens but not weigh them down. The dressing will also help keep the apples from turning brown. Plate or put into a bowl and top with chopped dates, nuts, and optional cheese. On the go shake apples and greens in a container with a little dressing, sprinkle on or shake with toppings. Enjoy!