This delicious fall inspired Hearty Autumn-Harvest Salad with Apples will have everyone talking! It is packed full of beautiful, fall flavors and is the perfect addition to your holiday table.
If you’re looking for a salad that will impress everyone then this is the salad for you. It has honeycrisp apple, spiced sweet potato, wild rice, and dried cherries in the mix, and is topped off with a homemade herb maple balsamic vinaigrette. Can you say, swoon?!? It is fall perfection in a bowl!!!
This salad is so good that my sister refers to it as the “Bomb Salad!” LOL! It doesn’t get any better than that.
None of these ingredients are hard to prep. The longest thing is the rice, but once that is cooked, the rest of the assembly is quite easy. So, provided below is everything you need to know about each major component. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
What You Will Need For This Hearty Autumn-Harvest Salad with Apples:
- Baby Spinach/Arugula Mix – Kale, or baby kale, will work here as well.
- Wild Rice – This rice is hearty and delicious and provides great texture and protein. However, you can substitute brown rice or farro, which are great options too.
- Honeycrisp Apples – These apples are sweet and super juicy, and have great bite. I like to use them as much as I can in my cooking.
- Sweet Potato – It is tossed in warming spices like cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon. And you can either roast them in the oven or cook them in a pan on the stovetop. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you can use butternut squash or even cauliflower.
- Dried Cherries – Don’t forget the cherries! These babies are chewy and slightly sweet, and they go so well with all the other textures.
- Vinaigrette – This dressing is simple but packs major flavor. And it goes with so many different salad creations as well. All you need is extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme.
- Note about these herbs – For this recipe, you can either use one teaspoon each of the fresh herbs, or use one or two teaspoons of my DIY Garden Herb Salt to add to the dressing, which is an amazing addition.
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Avocado Oil
- Optional – Want to make this salad a main meal? You can leave it as is, which is fantastic, or add shredded rotisserie chicken for more protein.
Tips on The Sweet Potato:
- There are two options here. You can either roast the sweet potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or roast it in a pan on the stove, which is faster. If you do roast the potatoes on the stove, just add some oil and roast over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes. (Make sure to roast until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender & crisp around the edges).
How To Assemble This Hearty Autumn-Harvest Salad:
- Cook the rice and sweet potatoes. (You can prep these two ahead of time to make the process go quicker).
- Add the salad mix to a large bowl, then layer with cooked rice, sweet potatoes, apples and cherries.
- Make the vinaigrette. To a food processor, add the olive oil, balsamic, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until emulsified and creamy…about 30 seconds. Transfer to a jar, then add the fresh herbs. Shake or stir to combine. (Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks). Drizzle over the salad.
- Keep the wild rice and sweet potatoes in the same container so it’s easier to heat up.
- Store the vinaigrette in an airtight container, and don’t add it to the salad until ready to serve.
- To prevent browning, don’t cut the apple until last minute.
And, for more holiday recipes, please give these a try:
- Herb-Crusted Cornish Game Hens
- Sweet-Honey Glazed Rainbow Carrots
- Parsnip Purée with Garlic and Herbs
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a star rating below so I know how you liked it. Thanks! Enjoy!Print