Autumn Harvest Salad

Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker

The warmth and bounty of fall are epitomized in this beautiful Autumn Harvest Salad. Crisp apples, sweet pears, crunchy walnuts, tangy cranberries, smoky bacon and sharp blue cheese are tossed with apple cider vinaigrette for a dazzling combination of textures and flavors.

Yield: 6-8 servings

6 ounces mixed greens
6 ounces baby arugula
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 apple, sliced
1 semi-ripe pear, sliced
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup candied walnuts
½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
apple cider vinaigrette to taste (see recipe below)

Combine the mixed greens and baby arugula in a large salad bowl. Top the greens with the blue cheese, apple slices, pear slices, dried cranberries, candied walnuts and bacon. Right before serving, toss the salad with the apple cider vinaigrette.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place the Dijon mustard, maple syrup and cider vinegar into a mixing bowl or food processor. Whisk or mix to combine. While whisking or mixing, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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