Celebrate harvest season with this delicious and beautiful Fall harvest salad, with apples, pears, cranberries, pecans and sunflower seeds.
This pretty Fall salad features kale, mixed greens and watercress for the base. On top, are the beautiful apples, sliced and fanned. The cranberries are fresh, and are quickly sautèed with sugar to soften and sweeten. There’s toasted pecans and sunflower seeds. And pretty pear roses. To top off this salad, there is goat cheese and a delicious Apple Vinaigrette.
This salad is Fall in a bowl! A perfect centrepiece salad for Thanksgiving. With all the great, Fall harvest ingredients, it’s easy to make this salad anytime, but it’s especially nice for a special meal, such as Thanksgiving.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Greens: I’ve used a mix of watercress, kale and mixed greens here. Use whatever greens you like, though I think a mix of greens makes a prettier salad, whatever greens you use.
Apples: I love a bright, red-skinned apple for this salad, as it both looks pretty in the salad, but will be nicely sweet, as well.
Cranberries: If fresh cranberries aren’t available or you prefer to skip them, dried cranberries would be just fine in this salad as well.
Goat Cheese: I love goat cheese, but crumbled feta would also be nice in this salad.
If your salad may sit a bit (such as on a Thanksgiving table), lightly brush your fanned apples with lemon juice to prevent browning.
How to make the pear roses: Take a prepared quarter of the pear and using a vegetable peeler, take a couple of slices off the side edge. Discard these slices. Now start taking even slices from top to bottom (or bottom to top) until you have 7 or 8 slices. Take those sliced and arrange in a straight line, overlapping by about 1/3. Start from one end and begin rolling up the line in to a circle.
Get the Recipe: Fall Harvest Salad
- 1/4 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoons onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 5 cups mixed greens, Baby Kale, Spring mix, watercress
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen or substitute dried
- 3 Tablespoons white sugar
- 1 apple, unpeeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 Bosc Pear, unpeeled, quartered, cored
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup goat cheese crumbles
- Make the Apple Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside, covered on the counter for 15 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend. Re-mix before using. Cover and refrigerate if making ahead.
- Sweeten the fresh cranberries, if using: Add the fresh cranberries to a large skillet. Sprinkle with 3 Tbsp white sugar. Cook, tossing pan regularly, until cranberries are softened, but have not collapsed or burst. Remove skillet from heat and allow cranberries to cool and sit in sugar syrup while you prepare the salad.
- Assemble the salad: Add mixed greens to bottom of salad bowl of plate. Place 3 or 4 fans of sliced apple over-top. Place a spoonful of cranberries next to the apple fan. Add some of the pecans next to the cranberries. Place a pear rose** next to the fanned apples. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over top. Sprinkle evenly with goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle with apple vinaigrette to serve.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!