Apple Walnut Salad: Easy Recipe

In the world of salads, few are as versatile and universally adored as the apple walnut salad. It’s a refreshing combination of crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, and tangy vinaigrette, coming together to create a symphony of textures and flavors.

Whether a light lunch or a side dish, this salad never fails to impress. At Luna Grill, we have reimagined this classic into our Mediterranean-inspired menu.

Our chefs carefully blend the finest quality apples and walnuts with fresh greens, crafting a harmonious balance between sweet, savory, and tart flavors. The result is a delightful salad that encapsulates the essence of Mediterranean cuisine — wholesome, fresh, and vibrant.

What Are the Historical Roots of the Apple Walnut Salad?

The story of apple walnut salad is as rich as its flavors. This salad’s roots can be traced back to the classic Waldorf salad, first created in the 1890s at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Originally, this salad comprised only apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Over time, walnuts were added, becoming a beloved component. As the Waldorf salad gained popularity and spread worldwide, many variations emerged, and the apple walnut salad was one of them.

It retained the core ingredients of apples and walnuts while introducing more components like greens and vinaigrette dressing. This transformed the once simple salad into a versatile, wholesome, and delicious dish we know and love today.

What Is the Nutritional Information of the Apple Walnut Salad?

Beyond its tantalizing flavors, the apple walnut salad is also a nutritious choice as it fits perfectly with a balanced diet. It provides an array of nutrients from fruits, nuts, and vegetables while offering flexibility to adjust ingredients based on dietary needs or preferences.

Apples are a significant source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, providing you with vital antioxidants. They also have a good amount of carbohydrates, offering a natural energy boost. Walnuts are packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are important for heart health and are a rich source of potassium and vitamin A.

Moreover, if you choose to add feta cheese to your salad, it can contribute to your calcium intake, which is crucial for bone health. Just be mindful of the cheese’s potential cholesterol content.

Including a diverse range of vegetables in your salad will not only add colors and textures but also a variety of vitamins and minerals, enhancing the nutritional profile of your salad.

Luna Grill’s apple walnut salad is a reflection of our commitment to serving not only delicious but also nutritious food. As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, there’s nothing like a “fall salad” to complement the season.

So whether you’re making it at home or ordering at our restaurant, the apple walnut salad is an easy recipe that promises a delightful culinary experience.

What Ingredients Are Key to the Apple Walnut Salad?

The apple walnut salad is vibrant and complex with layers of crunch and zip. From the fresh crispy lettuce topped with sweet, crisp apples, soft and creamy Gorgonzola cheese, earthy walnuts, savory chicken, and a zesty pomegranate dressing, this salad is one to savor and enjoy!

  • 2 cups Romaine, Kale, Red Leaf Lettuce mix (Any of your favorite salad greens, lettuces, or arugula can easily be substituted)
  • ½ Fuji Apple (Wash and cut into slices)
  • 2 TBSP Gorgonzola Cheese (Cut into ½ inch cubes or crumbled)
  • 1 TBSP Golden Raisins (Or any dried fruit of your preference)
  • 1 ½ TBSP Walnuts (Chopped)
  • 1 fl oz Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • 3 oz Roasted or Grilled Chicken (Optional. Store-bought is easy. Skin removed. Cut or torn into bite-size pieces.)

Ingredients for the vinaigrette:

  • ¾ cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • ¼ tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 1 pinch of Black Pepper

How Do You Choose the Best Apples for Your Salad?

The type of apple you choose for your salad can significantly impact its overall taste and texture. Honeycrisp apples, for instance, are an excellent choice as they’re a sweet apple with a slightly tart flavor. They also maintain their crispness even after being cut, making them perfect for salads.

Alternatively, with their tart and tangy flavor, Granny Smith apples can offer a refreshing contrast to the sweetness of other salad ingredients. The green apple variety will be an ideal choice if you’re after a perfect blend of sweet and tart.

To ensure the apple slices stay crisp in your salad, rinse them in cold water, pat them dry, and add them to the salad right before serving. A quick tip to prevent them from browning is to drizzle them with a bit of lemon juice.

Remember, the fresher the apple, the crisper it will be, so always go for the most recent harvest when shopping.

How Can You Make the Perfect Vinaigrette for Your Salad?

The vinaigrette ties all your salad ingredients together, imparting a tangy sweetness that uplifts the entire dish. A homemade pomegranate vinaigrette is simple to make and requires just a few of the ingredients listed above.

Olive oil creates a smooth, rich base for the dressing. Balsamic vinegar introduces a delightful tanginess that cuts through the richness of the oil. The garlic and lemon juice adds depth, and the honey helps balance the vinegar’s acidity with its natural sweetness.

To make the vinaigrette, place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor until all ingredients are well combined, and the dressing has a smooth texture. Be sure to taste and adjust the flavors according to your preference.

If pomegranates aren’t your thing, you could go for a more basic balsamic vinaigrette. The dressing ingredients that you would need are extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup. You would simply mix them into a small bowl or blender until they’re well combined.

What Are the Steps To Constructing the Perfect Apple Walnut Salad?

Now comes the enjoyable part — assembling your salad! With minimal prep time and cook time, you’ll have a nutritious, delicious apple walnut salad ready in no time.

Savor this salad as a quick lunch or a side dish at dinner, and enjoy the harmony of flavors and textures that make it a standout.

  • Start by placing your salad greens (lettuce, arugula, or a mix) in a large bowl.
  • Top it with the apple slices, a cup of toasted walnuts or walnut halves, the Gorgonzola, and a sprinkle of golden raisins.
  • When you’re ready to serve, drizzle your homemade vinaigrette over the salad.
  • Use salad tongs to toss the salad gently, ensuring every ingredient is well-coated with the dressing. This ensures that each bite carries your salad’s sweet, tangy, and savory flavors.

How Can You Customize Your Apple Walnut Salad?

The beauty of the apple walnut salad lies in its versatility. With a few simple tweaks, you can make this salad your own. For instance, if you’re not a fan of Gorgonzola, you can easily substitute it with blue cheese, goat cheese, or even feta for a different flavor profile.

Instead of walnuts, consider using pecans or almonds for a change in texture. Toast them on a baking sheet for a few minutes to bring out their natural, nutty flavors.

If you prefer a sweeter salad, try adding dried cranberries or raisins to complement the tanginess of the apples. You could also add thinly sliced red onions for a sharp, pungent kick.

Add a protein like grilled chicken, roasted turkey, or tofu to transform this side dish into a satisfying main course. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some cooked quinoa or chickpeas for an extra dose of protein and fiber.

The total time needed for these modifications is minimal, but they can greatly enhance your salad’s flavor and satiety factor, making it a versatile dish for any occasion.

Whisk It Up With Luna Grill: Fresh Flavors Await

Like Luna Grill, the apple walnut salad brings fresh, quality ingredients together to create something extraordinary. This homemade version brings you one step closer to the authentic Mediterranean flavors that Luna Grill champions.

Every bite of this salad is a reminder of the joy that fresh, wholesome food can bring. The crispy apples, crunchy walnuts, tangy cheese, and vibrant dressing work in harmony, creating a symphony of comforting and invigorating flavors.

So why not put on your chef’s hat and whisk up an apple walnut salad today? Or better yet, visit a Luna Grill restaurant to experience our menu’s full range. Our team members are eager to introduce you to the rich, satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean!


Why a Waldorf Salad Is Called a Waldorf Salad | Food Network Dish

Apples | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Calcium and Bones | MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Health Benefits of Walnuts | Harvard University

Types of Apples: 10 Best Varieties for Snacks, Salads, and Baking | Greatist