This Chopped Fall Salad w/ Apples, Fennel, Cheddar Cheese, Macadamia Nuts + Apple Maple Vinaigrette is healthy, delicious, & super easy to make!
Inspired by my recent trip to Vermont to hang out and collaborate with an awesome community of healthy food bloggers at Blog Brulee, this Chopped Fall Salad with Apples, Fennel, Cheddar Cheese, and Macadamia Nuts dressed with Apple Maple Vinaigrette is the perfect combination of tangy, sweet, crispy, crunchy, and creamy deliciousness. It’s also just the ticket for those of you, like me, who are craving the comfy flavors of fall, but aren’t quite ready to dig in to a big ol’ bowl of soup.
Note: I was compensated to speak at Blog Brulee at The Smugglers Notch Resort which included a trip to The Boyden Valley Winery, however I was not paid to write this post. I also receive free samples of Cabot Cheese from time to time as a member of the Cabot Cheese Board. I did not receive any free product for this recipe, and, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
It’s 90+++ degrees here in San Diego this week.
Have you ever been to Vermont?
It’s green and gorgeous, and, at least last weekend, 40 degrees cooler than it is here in San Diego.
This was the view from my room at Smugglers Notch Resort in Vermont. Anyone jealous? 🙂
Driving through the lush countryside, you will see “Maple Syrup Sold Here” signs everywhere.
Most of the time, these signs will be in front of someone’s home, which made me wonder if the proper ettiquite is to knock on someones front door, and ask with a smiling face, “Hi! May I please buy some of your maple syrup?”
Did I just say it was AMAZING???
So, amazing, that it inspired me to create this Chopped Fall Salad with Apples & Maple Vinaigrette.
Maple Creme Liqueur and Chopped Fall Salad with Apples & Maple Vinaigrette are so completely not the same thing, BUT at least you get a little taste of the flavors of fall, and all the deliciousness that the season has to offer.
Tips on Making a Chopped Fall Salad with Apples…
- Choose your favorite variety of apples. I used honey crisp apples for my fall salad, but have fun experimenting with different varieties of apples.
- Same thing goes with the nuts! I think macadamia nuts pair together deliciously with all the other ingredients in this chopped fall salad, but you can use whatever nuts you like. Pecans…walnuts…almonds….And, the same thing goes for the nut oil. Try and pair the equivalent nut oil with whatever nut you choose. for a yummy flavor combo.
- Want to make a vegan or paleo version? Simply omit the cheese! For a vegan version, top with beans, lentils, or crispy chickpeas for extra protein. And, for a paleo version, I bet this would be delicious topped with roast turkey or pan seared salmon. If you try it, let me know!
- Serving suggestions: Makes 2 main dish servings for a light dinner or lunch (and would be especially delicious with my “Best Ever” Brazilian Cheese Puffs!) I also love to double or triple the recipe, and serve this chopped fall salad with apples as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
- Meal prep tips: Make the dressing ahead of time. Use pre-bagged greens if desired. If you use hearty, crisp greens such as kale, the salad will keep well, and can be eaten the next day for lunch, either at home, or taken to work in a mason jar. Always fun!
Chopped Fall Salad with Apples & Maple Vinaigrette
Apple Maple Vinaigrette
- 4 cups chopped greens, lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.
- 1 apple with skin, seeds & core removed, finely chopped
- 2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, Cabot Seriously Sharp, etc., cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fennel
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts
- Apple Maple Vinaigrette, above
- Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a small glass jar. Shake until well combined and set aside until ready to use.
- Toast the macadamia nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool, then chop and set aside.
- MIx the chopped lettuce, apple, cheese, fennel, and nuts in a salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette until well combined.
- Vegan/Paleo Options: Omit Cheddar Cheese
- Don’t have macadamia nut oil? High oleic sunflower oil will work well too.
Have you been to Vermont before? What’s the weather like in your neck-of-the-woods? Is it soup season? Salad season? Or somewhere in between???