4 October 2009

A Recipe for Orchard Apple Salad... a taste of autumn

Orchard Apple Salad

I've been daydreaming about autumn again today, particularly about our local orchards and their fresh apple cider and delicious potato doughnuts sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon! With the magical smell of autumn in the air come other heavenly aromas of the season. Autumn trips to the apple orchard or cider mill are the type of thing that beautiful childhood memories are made of. I have been more than happy to pass these traditions down to my own daughter and someday my grandkids...hint...hint. My daughter follows my blog so that is for you kidlet! Some of these wonderful places have been around as long as the 1800s.

As a child a trip to the apple orchard was a yearly journey. Mom and dad would dress us up in warm mittens and scarves which we would be peeling off in no time after exploring everything the orchard had to offer. The lazy autumn sun would beat down on our faces and we'd be oblivious of anything else other than picking the best of the best and to see who could get the most apples into their basket. The cool nights in Ontario were perfect for keeping the apples crisp and fresh with a slightly sour tang that is just not duplicated any other time of the year.

Now here in British Columbia I passed this tradition down to my own daughter who loved to hop aboard the hay wagon, head for the petting zoo to see how the animals had grown over the summer months; all the while with a huge smile and a moustache of cinnamon and sugar. We would spend countless hours roaming the corn maze and filling our faces with luscious butter tarts and warming ourselves with mulled apple cider pressed from the apples that morning.

The first apple trees were planted in the Okanagan Valley well over a 100 years ago. Father Pandosy, a priest, had arrived in Kelowna in 1859 to set up a Catholic mission here. He was one of the first white settlers in the Okanagan Valley. On the mission property, he planted a few apple trees for the other residents of the mission.The Okanagan’s first commercial orchard did not appear until over 30 years after Father Pandosy planted his first few trees.

What better way to explore these autumnal flavours with a fresh harvest salad made with apples gleaned from your own local orchards. Start your own traditions or pass them down to the next generation. This salad is a recipe from Travis Hackle a local chef that has been altered slightly to make use of what I had available. I am submitting this recipe to the No Croutons Required event this month with the theme - The Storecupboard Round. The challenge this month is to create a vegetarian soup or salad using ingredients already in your cupboard and not heading to the local shops. In my cupboard I had walnuts, apple cider vinegar, olive and grapeseed oils, Dijon mustard, dried rosemary and parsley, dried cranberries and blueberries. To use my friend Giz's words, "The results were nothing short of magical".

The founders of this event are the talented duo Holler of Tinned Tomatoes and fellow Canadian Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen. Both of these ladies follow a vegetarian and healthy lifestyle which is evident in each of their feature stories. They have heard me say this before but they are both such sweeties that I have to participate in their event as often as I can...and I will say it again!!
Print this recipe

**Orchard Apple Salad**

Toasted Walnuts

1 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch dry thyme
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

100 ml apple cider vinegar
100 ml olive oil
200 ml grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
50 ml water
2 teaspoons white sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Salad 2 - 3 lb mixed greens
2 apples, sliced
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Vinaigrette: Thoroughly blend all ingredients in a blender.

Toasted Walnuts: Toss ingredients together and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 400 F.

Salad: Toss the lettuce leaves and vinaigrette together. Plate and top with the toasted walnuts and remaining salad ingredients.

You might also enjoy......................

Jamie Oliver - Southern Pecan and Apple Salad
White on Rice Couple - Asian and Pistachio Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Canadian Living - Apple and Spinach Salad with Cheddar
Fearless Kitchen - Apple, Honeyed Walnut and Paneer Salad
Food Network - Apple Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad, Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Epic Roots - Mâche Salad with Caramelized Pearl Onions and Green Apple
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  1. this is definitely full of autumn goodness! it has everything a good salad should--sweet, crunchy, chewy, tart. delightful. :)

  2. Nice and fresh Val...can "almost" taste the crispness of the apples in this!

  3. Oh, I adore salads with apples. I just went picking apples with my daughter, having apple cider etc at a local farm. Family traditions are make everything better.

  4. You know I was just thinking about what to take for lunch tomorrow. This is it. Healthy and delightful.

  5. Not only is that a great autumn salad, but you obviously have a nicely filled cupboard, too...lots of my favorite ingredients in it! Happy fall!!

  6. Oh my goodness, your salad is autumn heaven on a plate! I love your combo of the fruits and the goat cheese!

    Your stories of the orchard trips are incredibly beautiful... Such a precious tradition to pass on through the generations!

  7. This is perfect for those in between summer to fall days. A lovely crunchy salad!!!

  8. Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere where there actual seasons and the produce changed for each season. That salad really looks lovely!

  9. What a fabulous fall salad! You're lucky to live in an area where you actually get to experience the seasons- we don't get much leaf-changing & chilly weather here at all :(

  10. Hitting up the orchard is one of my favorite memories too - we just restarted the tradition last year and hope to go this weekend!

  11. I'm looking forward to grandkids too! Your apple picking memories are so nice. I'm sure they make the salad even more tasty!

  12. What a delightful salad! The Apple Cider Vinaigrette sounds excellent!

  13. I love apple season too - such a gorgeous salad, I am definitely making an apple salad soon!

  14. This is a perfect autumn salad, Val! I love it!

  15. I love this! Love, love, LOVE it! Fall salads are ideal when the days are still warm, but nights are cool. Perfectly refreshing and ideal for bringing ataste of autumn straight to your table (the fact that it's easy to prepare doesn't hurt either)!

  16. It's amazing that everyone has such great memories about going to the apple orchard. I want to think it's all due to sugary cider donuts and hay rides. What kid didn't dig that :)

    Great job on the salad. Apple and walnuts are perfect :)

  17. The first time I picked apples was last year. They are not a common fruit to the south of Greece, as they need the cold and the rain, but my friend's summer house is up in the mountain and her mother had planted some trees, which were heavy with fruit at the beginning of September. I will never forget their taste: crisp, fresh and sweet at the same time. Nothing like the apples I get from the market. I will try and get hold of some and make you salad.

  18. Val, that salad is enticing.

  19. This is autumn in a bowl...a fine salad and Canada has some fabulous apples.

  20. Great recipe Val - using some of the 40 lbs of apples I still have left would be well served in this salad. Thanks also for the great links to other apple type recipes - nice.

  21. Lovely entry Val! You know goat cheese if my favorite! Thanks so much for your submission.

  22. The apples are abound here...what a beautiful salad!

  23. I really like how u described your trip to the orchards.We ourselves went 2 weeks back and had a great time.
    Thats a crunchy salad.

  24. I loved to visit those apple orchards back east. We would then make applesauce and all kind of desserts. This looks like a salad that I would enjoy :)

  25. I can afford accepting autumn is here and buying and eating apples, "william" pears, grapes and the rest, because it is so warm in Paris that we all feel we're still in summer. This salad looks delicious and ... summerly

  26. Perfect salad for the fall! I'll be making this soon.

  27. Following old traditions and passing them over to our kids is something I love to do too! That salad is More than a Healthy salad ;D

  28. The is the perfect fall salad.

  29. Potato donuts! I can only imagine how wonderful they are! I love apples Val, this is right up my alley!

  30. This is the perfect salad for this time of year, love everything about it Val!

  31. I know people from other locales may argue, but I will always put my money on a Pacific Northwest apple. Especially with nuts and cheese. What a glorious way to celebrate the change of seasons!

  32. Vall this is yummy and a lovely salad Vsll, gloria

  33. Thanks for sharing your memories! This salad sounds delicious and perfect for fall.

  34. This really says "Fall" to me. Looks great!

  35. All the flavors of fall in a bowl... Magnificent!



  36. Nice salad! I am just starting to get into the in season apples now as well.

  37. Wow, this salad has it all! I love using so many local products in a fantastic recipe. We have many apple varities available now.

  38. What a lovely looking salad! I really like the toasted walnuts you've added to it.

  39. i crave every single day to eat big salads like this, but i never feel like making them. Sad, I know. Your picture is inspiring me on what a great pay off it would be , looks great!


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