An easy salad recipe featuring apples, spinach, bacon, and pecans. It’s filling, comforting, and everything you could want in a salad! Top it all off with a simple homemade maple-dijon vinaigrette.
It can be pretty tough on a gal from Texas to fight off those comfort food cravings, no matter the time of year. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the only thing keeping me in line is not wanting to buy a size up in pants. Truth bomb: That’s the only kind of upgrade I’ve got zero interest in. Pant shopping is pure torture, isn’t it? And honestly, my stubborn refusal to stay in my current jean size is the main drive behind vegetation on my table.
Of course, I am mostly joking, roasted root vegetables and leafy greens are welcome at my table year-round, but the green guests I’m most likely to welcome with wide-open arms are salads. I really do love a good salad. Especially one featuring apples, bacon, and blue cheese — the perfect combination of comfort and semi-healthy eating. Now, that’s my kind of meal.
APPLES, BACON & BLUE CHEESE…OH MY!
A masterpiece of flavors sing out, and sweet ingredients like crispy, sliced apples and maple-dijon dressing work beautifully against savory elements like blue cheese and bacon. Then, to contrast the crunch of pecans against a soft bed of baby spinach…it is pure fall salad perfection.
USE THIS APPLE, BACON AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD FOR…
Baby spinach tends to stand up to time much better than other delicate greens, therefore, this salad makes for a killer make-ahead lunch! Just be sure to leave the dressing on the side. I ate this apple and bacon salad for lunch four solid days in a row and was left wanting more at the end of its run. It quite frankly, just doesn’t get old.
Use this recipe as a go-to lunch, a healthy dinner to be enjoyed all on its own or showcase it at your next gathering. And, of course, feel free to use it in its most powerful form: To keep those heavy, comfort food cravings at bay, if only for a little while longer. Please, enjoy.
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon cold
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 large apple Jazz or Honey Crisp
- 6 cups baby spinach washed and dried
- 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the cubed bacon and sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until crispy. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel until ready to use.
If you are toasting the pecans, place a small sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the pecans. Toast the pecans for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally and paying close attention to keep them from burning.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Stand the apple on its bottom and cut into quarters around the core. Place each apple quarter flesh down on the cutting board, and cut into thin slices, about an 1/8" thick.
Place the spinach in a large serving bowl, and top with apples, bacon, pecans and Gorgonzola cheese. Drizzle with the maple-dijon dressing and toss to combine.
Serve and enjoy.
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup grade A
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Pinch Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
Add the maple syrup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, dijon and Kosher salt to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil, whisking all the while. Set aside until ready to use, or refrigerate if making in advance.