Apple Cranberry Winter Salad

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I first created this salad to take to Thanksgiving dinner and I have made it again and again this winter. I love it for so many reasons! First, it's so simple to throw together. Second, it's so fresh, which I think we all crave after the holidays. Third, it is a delicious side dish or add some grilled chicken breast and it is a full meal. I hope you enjoy this Apple Cranberry Winter Salad as much as we do!

Apple Cranberry Winter Salad - Crazy4Smiths

The ingredients are all optional, so if there is something you don't like, leave it out. If there is something you love, add more of it. (Please note that I forgot to include bacon in this photo. Trust me, you don't want to forget the bacon!)

Apple Cranberry Winter Salad - Crazy4Smiths

First, I chop the apples into bite size pieces and soak them for about 5 minutes in a mixture of cold water and lemon juice. Honestly, I never measure it, but I would say it's 3 parts water to 1 part lemon juice. This step is just to keep the apples from going brown.

Apple Cranberry Winter Salad - Crazy4Smiths

Next, I toast the walnuts with a little butter, sugar and cinnamon in a frying pan on the stove. I love the slight sweetness and wonderful flavor this adds to the salad. They are SO yummy! Actually, these are so addicting, that I eat them right off the pan and I have to be careful to not eat all of them before the salad is finished!

Apple Cranberry Winter Salad - Crazy4Smiths

Finally, cook the bacon until crisp, then cut or crumble it into bite-size pieces. Next, just toss the mixed greens, apples, bacon, walnuts, dried cranberries and feta cheese together in a big bowl. Last, drizzle with my new favorite salad dressing! I found this Marzetti Simple Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette at Smiths (near the salad in the produce department) and it is the perfect compliment to this salad! I think it has the perfect balance of tang and sweet and the pomegranate compliments the other "winter" flavors in the salad so well.

Apple Cranberry Winter Salad - Crazy4Smiths

Give it a try! I have had nothing but great reviews from everyone who has tried this salad.

Apple Cranberry Winter Salad
This salad is a delicious side dish or add some cooked chicken breast and it is a fast and fresh meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 5-6 cups mixed greens (I like Dole's Spring Mix)
  2. 2 crisp apples (I like Fuji, Braeburn, Honey Crisp or Pink Lady)
  3. 5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  4. 1/2 cup craisins (I prefer the reduced sugar variety)
  5. 1/2 cup feta cheese
  6. 1 cup walnuts pieces
  7. 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  8. 1 Tbsp butter
  9. 2 tsp cinnamon
  10. Marzetti Pomegranate Vinegrette
Instructions
  1. Cut the apples into bite-size pieces and soak in a bowl of 3 parts cold water and 1 part lemon juice.
  2. While the apples soak, melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir together until dissolved (1 min). Immediately add the walnuts and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until coated. Cool on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet.
  3. Cook bacon until crisp. Let it cool and cut or crumble it into bite-size pieces.
  4. Toss salad greens, apples, dried cranberries, bacon, walnuts and feta cheese in a large bowl.
  5. Drizzle the pomegranate vinaigrette over the top. (I prefer to serve the vinaigrette on the side so that everyone can use as little or as much as they like.)
Notes
  1. A grilled chicken breast is a delicious addition to this salad and make it a quick main dish.
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