beautiful fall salad with candied pecans

Fall Salad with Candied Pecans

PUBLISHED: 10.23.2020  |  SHARE:

This fall salad takes festive to a whole new level. Top with candied pecans and turn this green salad into the star of your next meal.

Treat yourself with this fall salad recipe. Loaded with candied pecans, it is a green salad your tastebuds can’t afford not to enjoy. It can be savored over lunch, as well as used as an edible centerpiece at the next dinner party. I promise this decadent salad won’t disappoint.

a beautifully plated fall salad with sliced pears and candied pecans

Seasonal eating at its finest

My family tries to eat as seasonally as possible, because we want our food to taste its best. Seasonal eating takes into account not only the time of year, but also what produce is local to your area. While it’s convenient to get whatever you might crave on any given day at the grocery store, fruits + veggies consumed out of their correct season aren’t as flavorful or as nutritious.

The US National Library of medicine states that seasonal eating is called ritucharya. This style of eating can actually be used as preventative medicine for a variety of lifestyle disorders, as well as health promoting in general. This fall salad calls upon produce that is growing right now in my area. If you need a good swap with produce that is seasonal to you right now, just leave a comment below so I can help!

Fresh fall salad ingredients

While some fall fresh produce is easy to identify, do you really know what grows seasonally during this time of year? My friends at The Spruce Eats created a deliciously comprehensive list. Here are a few of my favs, as well as pantry staples for the next few months:

ApplesOkra
BeetsPears
BroccoliPeppers
Brussels sproutsPomegranates
CarrotsPotatoes
FennelPumpkin
FigsRadishes
Fresh herbsSweet Potatoes
KaleWinter Squash
MushroomsZucchini

More fall recipes

I’ve also got a blog full of recipes using these fresh ingredients. Fall is the end for many home gardens, yet it’s also the season for many of my fav fruits and veggies. Here are some of my top fresh fall recipes, so that you can expand your fall meals too!

an autumn salad loaded with fall fresh ingredients

Leafy green swaps for this fall salad

Not able to find mixed greens for this green salad recipe? Not to worry! I created a list of the top leafy greens, because they can easily be swapped into this salad. Swap in kale if you’re looking for a bit of added tang, as well as texture in this salad. Shaved Brussels sprouts add a fresh, light crunch as well as a great different texture. Swish chard provides a multitude of colors, along with a smooth finish. When it comes to leafy greens, the possibilities feel endless (and delicious!).

a bed of leafy greens, perfectly ready for any green salad recipe

More green salad recipes

Looking for more great green salads? I work hard to make salad recipes that not only taste amazing, but have a balanced profile of protein + healthy fats + carbs to keep you full, energized, and fully satisfied.

  • Mason jar salad– fall fresh ingredients that are perfect for an on-the-go kind of day, because we all need fresh fast food sometimes!
  • Healthy taco salad– a plant powered take on a popular dish that is not only insanely good, but also good for you.
  • Mixed greens salad– the strawberry dressing is the perfect finish to this fresh salad.
  • Spiralized taco salad– spiralized sweet potatoes, as well as plant powered protein are the rawkstars of this family favorite.

What ingredients and flavors are you most excited for this fall? I’d love if you left a comment with your top fall ingredients, as well as your fav recipes.

fresh ingredients ready for a light salad dressing
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beautiful fall salad with candied pecans

Fall Salad with Pecans and Apples

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Spruce up your fall and winter table with this colorful, healthy fall salad recipe with pecans.


Scale

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

Salad

  • 1 6-ounce bag mixed greens (organic when possible)
  • 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup candied pecans (can use store bought as well)

Candied Pecans

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw, shelled pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. For the Candied Pecans: Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and allow to melt. Add the pecans.
  2. Lightly toast the pecans in the coconut oil for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the coconut sugar evenly over the pecans, followed by the maple syrup, and sea salt. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. A thick syrup will start to form and turn a deep amber brown and lightly coat the pecans. Be careful not to let the caramel become too dark or the nuts will taste burnt. 
  4. Turn off the heat and add vanilla and cinnamon. The caramel will bubble up and sputter a bit. Stir well.
  5. Transfer the pecans to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat and spread out evenly. Allow to cool completely. 
  6. Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar (or mixing bowl) and shaking vigorously (or whisking) to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more balsamic for acidity, salt or pepper for flavor balance, or olive oil for creaminess. Set aside.
  7. To serve, combine greens, half of the sliced apple and pear, dried cherries, and half of the roasted pecans to a large mixing/serving bowl. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and toss to combine.
  8. Plate and garnish with remaining pears, apples, and pecans. Serve with remaining dressing on the side. Best when fresh, though leftovers store separately in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Store pecans well-sealed at room temperature.

Keywords: apple pear fall salad

COMMENTS
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  1. Jessica says:

    Yum, just YUM.

  2. Amanda says:

    My NEW favorite fall salad!

  3. Kat says:

    I’m not normally a gal who puts fruit in my green salads. But who can resist wanting to taste what we’re seeing in that pic? Thanks for always pulling me outside of my boxes. 🙂

  4. Kim says:

    Oh my gosh! This salad is so good. It’s gorgeous and delicious!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      I know, Kim! I can’t get enough of this flavor combo. Such a perfect fall salad!!

  5. Erin says:

    My husband saw the photo of this salad and said we’re making it tomorrow. Ha!! Beautiful photos, and love that our produce box had all the ingredients for this… It really is using fall stuff!

  6. Dani Mitchell says:

    I liked a lot of things about the salad, but the dressing wasn’t my favorite. I prefer a creamier one and this was a bit acidic. I’ll swap it out next time for the one in your crunchy salad that I am obsessed with.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Def use another dressing on this salad if you didn’t care for the one in the recipe! I bet the creamy dressing would taste great with it. 🙂

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