The vinaigrette is the real star of this apple salad – as usual, I think – and lifts a pretty normal salad up to something excellent. Cinnamon adds a lot here, especially combined with maple both in the vinaigrette and coating the hazelnuts.
It’s a very seasonal recipe, and as usual, benefits from combining everything that’s ripe at the same time. The avocados are grown in the south of Europe and are also in season now.
This is a lovely holiday recipe, but also nice as a side any day of the week. It’s not quite filling enough for a main (maybe a light lunch?) but works well in combination with other things. Think vegan stuffed shells or lentil and greens patties.
- Greens: I love rucola (arugula/rocket) in this recipe for a bit of spice.
- Apples: pictured are Redlove apples, a pink and white-fleshed variety that looks beautiful when sliced.
- Avocado: adds a bit of creaminess in an otherwise very crunchy salad.
- Hazelnuts: these are the maple cinnamon hazelnuts from my hazelnut butter recipe, simply not blended into butter. They’re excellent.
- Pomegranate: this adds another element of sweetness, but pomegranate seeds are also quite tart, so it balances out.
- Vinaigrette: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette
This is a thoughtful vinaigrette, and I really encourage you to make it as written. Apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and cinnamon combine for a really autumnal dressing, and it works well with the salad.
Simply add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a jar and shake until combined – much easier than whisking, and you have a built-in storage container in case you don’t use it all.
Notes and Substitutions
Leave out the avocado if preferred, or sub it with something else that’s creamy, like a labneh.
Use whatever greens you like most. Baby spinach, lamb’s lettuce, anything you have on hand. If using chard or kale, massage it with half the vinaigrette before adding the other salad ingredients.
The apple type should be one you like to eat as is, not granny smith. A well-balanced sweet/tart apple is best.
For a nut free salad, use pepitas instead of hazelnuts. They can still be roasted like the nuts, but for about half the time, and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
More Vegan Salads
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Autumn Crunch Apple Salad
- 70 grams rucola (rocket/arugula)
- 2 medium apples cored and sliced
- 100 grams maple roasted hazelnuts
- ½ a pomegranate seeds only
- 1 avocado sliced
- 60 ml olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- Add the greens to a large bowl. Top with the apples, hazelnuts, pomegranate, and avocado.70 grams rucola (rocket/arugula), 2 medium apples, 100 grams maple roasted hazelnuts, 1/2 a pomegranate, 1 avocado
- To make the vinaigrette, add the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon, salt, and pepper to a jar. Screw the lid on and shake until very well mixed and fully combined.60 ml olive oil, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Top the salad with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers will keep for up to one day in a sealed container in the refrigerator.