Apple Feta and Candied Pecan Salad with Sourdough Croutons
Light and refreshing apple feta and candied pecan salad topped with homemade sourdough croutons!
After eating pie nearly every day last week, salad is necessary. I also thought we could use a break from holiday cookie recipes.
I decided to give us all a little break from the desserts and share a fun, new winter salad recipe instead. I’m always on the look out for creative and hearty salads this time of year!
This Apple Feta and Candied Pecan Salad is loaded with crisp slices of tart Granny Smith apple, candied pecans (or use simple toasted pecans if you prefer!), briny and salty crumbled feta cheese, and homemade sourdough croutons for crunch.
For years, I swore off all fruit in salads, but I’ve had a complete change of heart over the last few years. This Fall Harvest Salad was a game changer for me.
I’ll take it all, as long as it is tossed with a light and refreshing salad dressing, such as this one. If you’re looking for a more indulgent and hearty winter salad, this shaved broccoli and Brussels sprout salad is another favorite. Or this Brussels sprouts salad with hazelnuts and pomegranate molasses vinaigrette! Don’t make me choose.
When I set out to make this salad, I desperately wanted to use baby gem lettuce, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find it until well after I created this recipe.
So, in the process, I discovered that if you use just the tops of compact hearts of romaine, you achieve a similar look and effect. But if you can find baby gem, by all means, use that instead!
Apple, Feta, and Candied Pecan Salad with Sourdough Croutons
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 thick slices sourdough bread sliced into ¾-inch cubes
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
For the Dressing:
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white wine vinegar
- juice 1 small orange
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon s (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Apple, Feta, Pecan Salad:
- 3-4 baby gem lettuce heads or 2 romaine lettuce heads
- 3½ ounces baby mixed greens
- ½ large Granny Smith apple cored and very thinly sliced
- candied pecans I recommend Trader Joe's candied pecans
- 2½ ounces feta cheese crumbled
- Prepare Croutons: Heat the olive olive in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the cubed sourdough bread and spread into a single layer. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to toast over medium heat (adjusting the heat as necessary), tossing every few minutes, until the croutons are golden brown on all sides, but still slightly soft in the center. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking continuously with your other hand, until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare Salad: Trim the ends of the baby gem lettuce heads, separate the leaves, and place in a large serving bowl. If you are using hearts of romaine, you can mimic the look of baby gem lettuce by discarding any bruised outer leaves and using just the top 3 to 4 inches of the romaine hearts (look for hearts of romaine that are tight and very fresh) – you can store the remaining lettuce for other salads. Add the sliced apple, pecans, feta, and sourdough croutons and toss the salad with dressing until lightly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
8 Comments on “Apple Feta and Candied Pecan Salad with Sourdough Croutons”
YUM! This salad is my kind of salad. And yes, I can totally relate to the pie and ice cream dilemma. I can’t have one without the other. I am always balancing out the last bite and end up eating twice as much. I need more ice cream to balance out the pie and then more pie to balance out the ice cream…and then the whole pie is gone…you know how it goes 😉
Oh my gosh, that is totally ME. Haha! No self-control 🙂
I am so glad you came around to fruit in salads. It is the best!
The dressing looks good, I like the addition of the orange!
I love candied pecans in a salad (actually just shot a recipe with them!)! Sounds perfect to me! Merry Christmas season, Laura!
haha, even without pie in sight I love a good salad! This dressing sounds wonderful with the apples and pecans – yum!
I was so hoping there was a recipe coming after I saw this pic on Insta yesterday! Looks SO good!!! Also, homemade croutons are the BEST.
I could *definitely* use a salad like this after the last week – this looks so light, fresh, and delicious! The dressing sounds especially wonderful, with the Dijon and orange juice. I’m also trying to use up the last of my granny smith apples from the apple orchard, so the timing couldn’t be better!