Apple Harvest Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

On one of the steamiest weekends of the summer in New York, we jetted out of the city to go apple picking in the Hudson Valley.

Though it was still early for apple season and many varieties weren’t ready yet, there was no shortage of apples, as evidenced by my 20-pound bounty of McIntoshes, Ginger Golds and Galas!

Post-picking, we took advantage of the apple-inspired dishes the orchard’s cafe had to offer, including their take on the classic Waldorf salad.

This recipe is inspired by their light and refreshing take on the Waldorf, which uses a balsamic vinaigrette instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing. It’s a great lunch for weathering a late-summer heat wave.

Apple Harvest Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces baby lettuces
1/2 large apple such as Gala or Fuji, cut into 1/4-inch thick matchsticks
1/2 cup halved seedless grapes
1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup tart dried cherries (optional)

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

1. In a spouted measuring cup, combine the oil, vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a large bowl, add the lettuce, apples, grapes, nuts, blue cheese and cherries, if using. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss together, adding more dressing if necessary. Serve immediately.

Photo Credit: sarsmis/

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