Walnut and Apple Spring Salad

Here is my recipe for a fun spring salad that was my recipe in my hungry husky column in the Daily Campus this week…

As the weather heats up, it’s time for cool, refreshing spring salads. One spring salad I particularly love features apples and caramelized walnuts. You can also add strawberries to this salad, especially good in the summer. Here are the simple instructions to making this delicious seasonal salad.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Time: 20 minutes

Here’s what you’ll need for the salad:

  • Lettuce of your choice
  • Caramelized walnuts
  • Cucumber
  • Apple
  • Strawberries (optional)

Here’s what you’ll need for the dressing:

  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Caramelizing walnuts

To start, you will need to caramelize your walnuts. This takes about five minutes. It is very easy to do but adds a nice little touch to your spring salad. In a saucepan on medium high heat, add two tablespoons of brown sugar, one teaspoon of olive oil and a half cup of walnuts. When the sugar starts melting, stir it until the walnuts are coated. Then transfer the walnuts to a piece of wax paper to cool for another couple of minutes. Make sure the walnuts are separated so they do not dry and become clumps. This makes more than enough walnuts for several salads, but these keep and are nice to have if you’d like to use them as toppings on salads for another day or two.

Now you can set to work making your dressing. I always make more than necessary because you can keep this in a jar or plastic container out on the counter to use when you need it for other salads later on. Start with two tablespoons of olive oil and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. At this point, you can add in half a teaspoon of minced garlic. Stir, and add in a little bit of dijon mustard to thicken the dressing. Taste your dressing and adjust it to your liking. When you have it as you like it, season with salt and pepper and set aside to later put on your salad.

Now take a serving of your choice of lettuce. I chose to make this salad with a mixture of iceberg lettuce and romaine, but it would also go well with arugula or butter lettuce. Wash and cut your lettuce so you have bite-size pieces. Place the lettuce in a bowl. Now wash and cut your cucumber to include what you deem appropriate for your salad. Wash your apple. I used half of a small apple for one serving, but I did not include strawberries. You can use a quarter of an apple if you choose to use strawberries in your seasonal salad as well. Finally, throw in a couple of caramelized walnuts and add in your dressing. Mix well and serve!