Friday, January 25, 2013

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

In case you were thinking that I currently live on meatballs and grilled cheese sandwiches, I thought I should assure you that, well, I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I love indulgent food but to tell you the truth: I don’t eat that kind of stuff all that often. What I really eat on a day-in and day-out basis are recipes like this winter salad. I’m not kidding you – we have eaten this salad, or one very similar to it, at least three times per week for the past three weeks. I just can’t get enough of the cheddar-apple combination.

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

My husband wasn’t so convinced that salads are a winter thing. Let’s just say he wasn’t totally on board with me calling this a winter salad. But I can justify…apples and cranberries – typically fall and winter fruits, right? And who doesn’t love nice sharp white cheddar with a tart Granny Smith apple? Add some warm toasted walnuts and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette…you’ve got yourself a winter salad.

I’m still not sure he was convinced about this idea. And judging by the way he cleans his salad plate, he’s on board with the flavors and so am I!

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

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Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 2 main-dish salads

Total Time: 15 min

A simple winter salad recipe with homemade balsamic-feta vinaigrette, cheddar cheese and Granny Smith apples.

Ingredients:

for the balsamic-feta vinaigrette:
1 Tbs. feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

for the salad:
3 cups mixed greens
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and chopped
2 Tbs. dried cranberries
2 Tbs. golden raisins
3 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing in a quart-sized jar. Close the jar and shake vigorously until the dressing is mixed very well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the greens, apple, cranberries, golden raises, cheddar cheese and toasted walnuts between two large plates. Drizzle with the vinaigrette to serve.

Cassie's Notes:
I chose to use dried cranberries because that's what I had on hand. This salad could be made even more winter-y by using fresh cranberries!

If I don't have apples on hand, I use pears in this salad. When I use pears, I use feta cheese and leave out the cheddar.

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

 

57 Responses to “Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette”

  1. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — January 25, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    This salad looks wonderful! I love the apple, cheddar combination too.

  2. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — January 25, 2013 @ 7:11 am

    This looks amazing! I love cheddar and apple together.

  3. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — January 25, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    Apple, cheddar, balsamic vinegar? This is the best salad ever!

  4. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — January 25, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    White sharp cheddar makes my wooooorld go ’round.

  5. #
    Amanda — January 25, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    This look so yummy!!! I love the idea of a winter salad!

  6. #
    Tracey — January 25, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    I’m not usually big on salads in the winter, but I just love this combination of flavors Cassie! The dressing sounds so amazing!

  7. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — January 25, 2013 @ 8:44 am

    I’m all over this salad, Cassie. Beautiful flavors!

  8. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — January 25, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    This salad looks great Cassie! I really need to start losing this baby weight and hamburgers and pizza aren’t going to get me there.

  9. #
    Jill — January 25, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    Oh, wow! This looks great! Love it!

  10. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — January 25, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    i hardly ever make fancy salads, but when i do… they are amazing and i wonder why i don’t do it more often. this salad is beautiful!

  11. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — January 25, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    This salad is so pretty, Cassie! I love the dressing idea! Pinning!

  12. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — January 25, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    What a super lovely salad. I adore apples and that balsamic touch is amazing.

  13. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 25, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Balsamic vinegar is the best stuff ever. Can do no wrong & looks perfect for this salad with everything else!

  14. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — January 25, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    All over this salad!

  15. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — January 25, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    I make cheddar apple grilled cheese at least once a week! Love the idea of turning it into a salad with the feta and balsamic.

  16. #
    Tara @ Unsophisticook — January 25, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    I just love a good salad that has a bit of sweet fruit in it — delicious!

  17. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — January 25, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    Any time is salad time. Of course I love the apples and cheddar, but I’m all about the dressing. I’m gonna fall asleep tonight, dreaming of this vinaigrette!

  18. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — January 25, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

    Beautiful salad!! Dude, there totally are such things as winter salads. I’m sure of it.

  19. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — January 25, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    In love with this salad, Cassie! So pretty!

  20. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — January 25, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    This salad looks so beautiful!!!

  21. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 25, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    Balsamic and feta just can’t get betta! That’s the extent of my food rapping talent…

  22. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — January 25, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    This is my kind of salad! You have all of my favorite mix-ins and that dressing sounds incredible! I can’t wait to make it!

  23. #
    Yvonne @ bitter baker — January 25, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    As soon as I see feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, I’m in! Those are probably my two favorite food ingredients ever, they just make everything so much better. And this salad looks truly delicious.

  24. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — January 25, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    Cheddar and apple are SO good together, but I’ve never put them in a salad. I need to remedy that!

  25. #
    Cathy @ Noble Pig — January 25, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

    I am going to make this over the weekend! Yummy.

  26. #
    Jen — January 25, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    I know I haven’t been around much to comment lately, but I’ve still been following along. I’ve loved watching you grow and expand and always can’t wait to see what you do next!

    • Cassie replied: — January 26th, 2013 @ 8:20 am

      Hey Jen, I was just thinking about you! Glad you stopped by, hope things are going well!

  27. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — January 25, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

    I love these flavors and I enjoy salads for lunch even in the winter!

  28. #
    Anna (Hidden Ponies) — January 26, 2013 @ 12:42 am

    Great combination! I love that vinaigrette.

  29. #
    Joanne — January 26, 2013 @ 5:56 am

    I would definitely call this a winter salad! It sounds like such a great mix of ingredients. Love the sweet and salty from the cheddar/apple combo!

  30. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — January 26, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I love salads like this! I made something similar for Thanksgiving last year and it was a big hit :)

  31. #
    Heather — January 26, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    This salad looks fantastic! I love the combination of apple and cheese and the balsamic vinaigrette looks wonderful–Can’t wait to make this!

  32. #
    Kathryn — January 26, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    This sounds like a really delicious salad – it’s such a great combination of ingredients and I love the sound of that vinaigrette!

  33. #
    Joann@The Italian Next Door — January 26, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

    Cassie, this looks yummy! Great idea for this time of year. And I LOVE toasted nuts on my salad!

  34. #
    Shaina — January 26, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

    I agree with you, apples and cranberries are definitely fall & winter fruits!! i almost always add dried cranberries to my salads. I really like your vinaigrette recipe! i definitely have to try that out sometime.

  35. #
    Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry — January 26, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    This looks so heavenly! Love the feta in the dressing!

  36. #
    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — January 26, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    Such a pretty salad and it sounds like the perfect cure for the winter blues!

  37. #
    Jackie l Food.Wine.Fashion — January 26, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

    Hey Cassie! I’m a new follower and am loving all your posts (especially the SEO help for my blogs).

    I am so intrigued by the balsamic-feta dressing! My husband loves anything balsamic and I could not love feta anymore so it’s perfect for us!

    • Cassie replied: — January 28th, 2013 @ 8:28 am

      Thanks for the comment, Jackie, glad you are here!

  38. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — January 27, 2013 @ 12:56 am

    This salad is gorgeous, Cassie! Cheddar and apple are just so good together!

  39. #
    Anne@FromMySweetHeart — January 27, 2013 @ 1:34 am

    Oh…an absolutely beautiful salad, Cassie! I love winter salads with dried or fresh fruit, nuts and cheese. And apples and cheddar are perfect combinations for fall and winter! Love your photos, too…especially the one with the focus on the dried cranberries! : )

  40. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 27, 2013 @ 2:15 am

    What a gorgeous salad! I love to indulge here and there but I mainly do clean eating so this salad here is just my style! Plus, I have a costco-sized container of feta to use up!

  41. #
    angela @ another bite please — January 28, 2013 @ 6:59 am

    i am so lovin the sound of this salad…i needed some good winter salad ideas.

  42. #
    Vij (Spices and Aroma) — January 28, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    I am loving this salad. I am on a detox and have been eating a lot of salads. I thinks its time to add some cheese and I am going to fix your salad for dinner tonight.

  43. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — January 28, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

    This might make a salad eater out of me!

  44. #
    Angie — January 29, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

    What a perfect winter salad!

  45. #
    Wendy — January 29, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

    I am always looking for different ways to present a salad. This looks delicious. Thanks!

  46. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — January 29, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

    I do love the combo of cheddar and apple but haven’t tried it in a salad yet. But salads with apples, walnuts and strong cheese are a favorite around here.

  47. #
    Kristen — February 1, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    This is the most beautiful salad, ever, Cassie!

  48. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — February 6, 2013 @ 7:37 am

    Apple + Cheddar = Perfection.

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