Fall Salad with Apples and Walnut Vinaigrette Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Fall Salad with Apples and Walnut Vinaigrette Recipe


Photography by Victoria Wall Harris

I was hoping to squeeze this beautiful salad recipe in before the Jewish holidays, but it just didn’t happen.  The good news is that Fall is just getting started which means we’ll have fresh apples for a bit more!  Yes, apples have a season.  Yes, I know we see them all year.  But they are freshly picked August through October.  The rest of the year the apples have been picked in the fall and kept in cold storage.  In my opinion, apples are tastiest right now!

I always like to have a take-away tip with every recipe I teach.  For this one, it is about the dressing.  When I come up with a salad recipe, the dressing is what requires tinkering to get it right.  The salad components can really be flexible and fluid.  So essentially you can take this dressing and make up your own salad based on what you have in your fridge and pantry, and what’s in season.  One thing that I feel strongly about is that salads should represent what is in season!

So this dressing came about because I remembered a vinaigrette I had made years ago with walnut olive and I just loved it.  “Why don’t I have walnut oil in my kitchen?” I asked myself.  Because it’s expensive, I never finish the bottle before it goes bad, and I hate throwing away food.  Walnuts and walnut oil are rich in Omega-3 fats which can go rancid easily when exposed to light, heat, and air.  I store walnuts in the freezer (fridge is fine, too) so they stay fresher for longer.  But we just don’t eat as much walnut oil in our house as we do walnuts.

I wanted to make a dressing with walnut oil but I didn’t want to buy a bottle.  So I just used whole walnuts blended in the dressing and ta-da!  I got the flavor of walnuts AND all the nutrients, fiber and protein in the walnuts to boot.  Plus, walnuts add a nice creaminess to the dressing which you can see from the image above.  This dressing stays good in the fridge for at least 5 days, but it will solidify so make sure you plan for time for it to sit at room temp to become liquid again.  Check the notes at the bottom of the recipe for other suggestions, but really, so many wonderful options here.  You can try this recipe out now and use it on your Thanksgiving menu!  Don’t worry – we still have 8 weeks to go!


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5.0 from 2 reviews
Fall Salad with Apples and Walnut Vinaigrette
Serves: 6
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 3 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (or half apple cider vinegar and half rice vinegar)
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons walnuts*
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 5 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of green leaf or red leaf lettuce
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • ¼ cup toasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • a big pinch of flaky sea salt
  1. Blend vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until creamy. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
  2. Arrange the salad greens and mint (if using) in a serving bowl. Core and thinly slice the apple. Toss the greens lightly with the dressing. Arrange the apple slices and pumpkin seeds on top and drizzle with a little extra dressing and flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.
*If you have a nut allergy, you can try blending sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the dressing, but they don't get as creamy as walnuts. It would be better to try a little sunflower butter.

Other delicious additions could include cheese such as Manchego, Goat or Cheddar; cooked quinoa; avocado; cooked beets; roasted butternut squash or Delicata squash; cooked lentils


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  1. Made this last night and it was delicious! Added chopped avocado and a little goat cheese as well. The mint added so much to the salad and I wouldn’t have thought to do that myself.

    • I can imagine the avocado and goat cheese made this salad that much better! Thanks, Helen.

  2. why can’t i print?! boo hoo

    • Did you click on the print button? It is located to the right of the recipe title above the recipe ingredients and to the left of the stars.

  3. I didn’t realize walnut oil went bad fast. I keep mine in the fridge and just smelled it. How can I tell if it’s bad??

    • Taste it! If it tastes good to you, then you’re ok. You are right to keep it in the fridge. Is there an exp date on the bottle?

  4. Please send the recipe of this salad and the recipe for the tostadas with beans

    • You can access the recipe to this salad right here! The tostadas with beans is from my book, Quicker Than Quick!

  5. I must try this salad! Your clever way to include walnuts is fabulous. The apples on my counter are calling !

    • I actually thought about it because I use cashew butter in dressing all the time. Why not walnuts??

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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