You guys know that I’m a big fan of the entrée salad (like this grilled panzanella or this grapefruit, fennel & shrimp combo) but a bland mix of chopped veggies tossed with supermarket dressing does not equal a meal, in my book. I need a salad bursting with sweet and salty flavors, something creamy, something crunchy and a protein in the form of meat, beans, fish or eggs. This apple & stilton harvest salad has it all, and the ingredients come together in a medley that screams Autumn has arrived! The secret ingredient? The raisin walnut crisps that I make with day old bread from the farmer’s market (from this local seller.) I cut super thin slices, brush with a little olive oil or melted butter, then pop into a 400 degree oven until golden brown and crispy, turning once during cooking. After they’ve cooled, I break into rustic, bite-sized pieces, and throw them into salads, serve next to steaming cups of coffee, or just munch on when I need something that tastes “cookie-like.” Trust me: they’ll become a new addiction. Keep reading for the recipe for my apple & stilton harvest salad!
These ingredients couldn’t be more “fall”… a really creamy blue cheese tastes divine with the crunchy-tart apple.
Raisin-walnut crisps in all their glory. For a neater presentation, you could cut them into square little croutons before cooking…but I prefer mine to be a little more “freestyle.”
Apple & Stilton Harvest Salad
- 10 cups baby greens
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 granny smith apple, sliced thinly
- 2 chicken breast halves, grilled and sliced (optional. chickpeas would be a great veg option.)
- day-old raisin-walnut bread (or any kind of bread with dried fruit or nuts), thinly sliced
for the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place currants in a small bowl, and pour boiling water over them to reconstitute and “plump.” Set aside.
- Spread walnuts on one baking sheet and raisin-walnut slices on another baking sheet. Toast in oven until golden, about 7 minutes for walnuts and 10 minutes for bread. During the cooking, you’ll want to toss the walnuts a few times and turn the bread once to cook evenly. Remove from oven and let walnuts and bread cool.
- Drain currants and pat dry with a paper towel. Break toasted bread into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, stir together balsamic vinegar and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add baby greens, currants, raisin-walnut crisps, walnuts and apple slices. Toss to combine, then divide among four plates. Top with blue cheese and chicken, if using.
*photos by Camille
*I was originally inspired to create this salad from one that I tried at Corner Bakery.