This Apple Cranberry Salad is light and refreshing with autumnal flavors of apple, cranberry, and walnuts. A lighter side dish for your Thanksgiving table.
The big day is almost here! Have you started cooking yet? I have. But I'm still refining my menu and probably will be right up until we sit down at the table.
Just in case you're still trying to decide just what to include on your Thanksgiving table, I thought I'd do a little review of some possibilities from the Never Enough Thyme archives.
Oh, and I'm also including a new recipe that would be a welcome addition. On this day of feasting and heavy eating, it's sometimes nice to include at least one thing that's on the lighter side. This lovely Apple Cranberry Salad would be a nice start to your meal and fits right in with its autumnal theme of apples, cranberries, and walnuts. And the balsamic vinaigrette is just delicious as well. You'll find the recipe at the end of the post.
Always the Main Event at a Southern Thanksgiving
It simply would not be Thanksgiving for us without Turkey and Southern Cornbread Dressing. Yes, that's dressing. Not stuffing. It's a southern thing. Check out the original post if you don't know the difference :-)
On to the Sides
And to serve along with the dressing, of course there has to be our favorite Cranberry-Orange Relish. Or maybe you'd like to try something new this year like my Kumquat and Dried Cherry Chutney? You'll find both recipes at the link.
After the turkey and dressing, it's all about the sides! How about something a little different this year - this gorgeous Baked Fruit for instance.
Green beans are always popular at Thanksgiving. My recipe for Braised Green Beans really puts the flavor over the top.
A new favorite of ours is this Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese. Bursting with flavor and so colorful!
Copper Pennies - a marinated carrot salad and a Southern favorite - always popular with kids and adults alike.
And don't forget the Jello mold! It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Polly's Pink Stuff on our table.
And Last, but Not Least - Dessert!
If after that huge meal you still have a tiny bit of room left, maybe one of these desserts would hit the spot.
Pecan Cheesecake Pie. Yum. Pecan pie and cheesecake all in one bite. Heavenly.
Another Southern favorite - Charlotte Russe. Might want to serve this one for the adults only since it has a generous amount of good old Jim Beam in the recipe ;-)
Got room for one more bite? Maybe this Chocolate Little Layer Cake would be the perfect ending to your meal. Yum. Yum.
How to Make Apple Cranberry Salad
Now for that salad I promised at the beginning of the post. You'll start by toasting the walnuts. Place them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat.
Shake the nuts several times while cooking to prevent scorching. Toasting will take about 6 to 7 minutes. Just watch them carefully and remove them from the heat when they're nicely browned.
Set the walnuts aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Slice the apples lengthwise into thin slices. I like a nice crispy, tart apple for this salad so I chose Granny Smith's. Just pick any variety that you particularly like.
Now, combine the apples, lettuce, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese in a large bowl.
Make the vinaigrette
Add the vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking constantly. Serve the salad on individual small plates and pass the dressing for everyone to add separately.
Thanksgiving Salad Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Honey Dijon Apple Bacon Cranberry Salad from Cafe Delites
- Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad from Damn Delicious
- Thanksgiving Spinach Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
- Bistro Fall Salad from Whole and Heavenly Oven
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Apple Cranberry Salad
- 1 cup walnuts toasted
- 2 crisp apples I used Granny Smith
- 6 cups Butter lettuce Red Leaf lettuce, or a mix of both
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
For the vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove minced or grated
- 2 tblsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts. Shake the nuts several times while cooking to prevent scorching. Toasting the walnuts takes about 6-7 minutes.
- Set aside to cool while preparing the rest of the salad.
- Slice the apples lengthwise into thin slices. Combine the apples, lettuce, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese in a large bowl.
- Make the vinaigrette.
- Add the vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking constantly.
- Serve the salad on individual small plates. Pass the dressing at the table.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.