Heirloom Apple Salad

Heirloom Apple Salad Recipe

Hi all - I'm going to make this quick. Our basement flooded in the big storm last night, and although most of the things I cared about were safe on shelves, it's still a mess of soggy boxes down there. Lot's of them. It's one of those situations that gets progressively worse the longer you leave it, so guess where I'll be for the next day or two? But, I made this salad before the rain hit, and my intent was to share it with you, flood or no flood. It's the sort of salad that works this time of year, and you likely have the ingredients needed sprinkled about your kitchen - on counter tops, or in the crisper. It's hearty and substantial, colorful and crunchy - made with heirloom apples, shaved celery, and toasted nuts of your choosing. The dressing is crème fraîche spiked with rosemary, garlic and champagne vinegar - you could use sour cream.

Heirloom Apple Salad RecipeHeirloom Apple Salad Recipe

Think of this more as a sketch than anything else. I used arugula because it's what I had on hand, but the baby gems at the market looked great and would have been a nice substitute. Same goes for the nuts, toast whatever you have on hand - pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts. And the dressing should by no means be limited to this recipe - it's decadent drizzled over roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, as a finishing kiss for mushrooms, or as a slather on panini.

Heirloom Apple Salad RecipeHeirloom Apple Salad Recipe

Hope you like this one as much as I do. Stay dry, and wish me luck! xo -h


Heirloom Apple Salad

A bit of hard, aged cheese is welcome here as well - shave of thin strips and add toward the end.

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
12 rosemary leaves, minced (the spiky needles)
1 medium garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup /120 ml crème fraîche (or sour cream)
2 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 large celery stalks, sliced see-though thin (reserve any celery leaves)

2 crisp, flavorful heirloom apples, cut into sixths, and then thinly sliced*

4 handfuls arugula, baby gems, or baby romaine

1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts

Make the dressing first. Crush the sea salt, rosemary, garlic, and sugar into a paste with a mortar and pestle (or smash it all together with a knife). Work in the creme fraiche and vinegar, taste and adjust with a bit of pepper and more salt if needed.

When you're ready to serve, combine the celery, apples, salad greens, and most of the nuts with a few half of the dressing. Toss well, adding more dressing until it is to your liking. Finish with the remaining nuts, and any torn celery leaves.

Serves 4-6.

* If you're not going to use the apples immediately keep them in a bowl of water spiked with a bit of lemon juice (or the white wine vinegar you're using for the dressing). Drain and pat dry before using.

Prep time: 7 min

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Your Comments

December 2, 2012

So sorry to hear about the basement; wishing you the best of luck. Salad sounds really good - crunchy and fresh!


December 2, 2012

lunch = sorted!


Averie @ Averie Cooks
December 2, 2012

Heidi so sorry to hear about your basement. I hope you guys can get back to normal soon. Ugh, not what you needed - at all!

The crème fraîche spiked with rosemary, and champagne vinegar dressing sounds sensational! Along with the crisp apples, mmm good!


December 2, 2012

Oh no! Good luck! At least you have good food made to keep you going...!


Anjali @ The Picky Eater
December 2, 2012

Oh my gosh - that really sucks about your basement! I can't believe you were able to post this recipe despite the flooding - very admirable :) This salad looks delicious, and good luck with everything over the next couple days!


December 2, 2012

I hope you've managed to sort out your basement! This salad looks beautiful and the light in the photos is amazing as always :)


Tricia Rose
December 2, 2012

Stay dry yourself - more rain is coming! I'm not looking forward to the high tide December 13th.


December 2, 2012

Oh, no! I'm so sorry about the soggy boxes--I hope the clean up isn't too bad. It sounds like it's been unbelievably wet down there, I hope the sun comes back out soon! Take care.


sangeeta khanna
December 2, 2012

This is such a simple dressing full of flavors. I can smell the aroma :-)

Take care with your basement and the weather.


December 2, 2012

That salad looks amazing and that dressing sounds perfect! Do you have any idea what that variety of heirloom apple is?...we are always looking for "new" ones to put in at our farm.
Good luck with the basement cleanup!!

HS: HI Kay - I think those were Arkansas black apples.


Julia {The Roasted Root}
December 2, 2012

I'm glad you're safe and so sorry to hear about your basement! I had heard there were flood warnings in Sacramento and didn't realize it would be an issue in SF! We got quite a bit of rain in the foothills but thankfully no damage. Good luck and beautiful salad!!


Katie (The Muffin Myth)
December 2, 2012

Oh no! Floods are the worst! I hope you didn't lose anything too important. This salad looks great, exactly the sort of thing I'm into eating right now. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!


December 2, 2012

Oh no! The flooding sounds terrible :( I hope you can sort it all out without too much trouble.

On the other hand, that salad looks delicious! Good food always puts a smile on my face, so hopefully it can do the same for you too.


Oh no! I hope you get everything safe a dry just in case it happens again. Has to be such a pain to deal with, but maybe you will find a few things you had forgotten about :)


adam and Theresa
December 3, 2012

beautiful dressing. Doestn't sound like salad weather there though : ( All the best with the cleanup.


Emma Galloway
December 3, 2012

Oh no! Hope no photos were in those boxes :-( All the best with the clean-up, this salad sound amazing and reminds me heaps of a salad my Dad is famed for. xx


Mike @TheIronYou
December 3, 2012

Funny thing, I just posted an article on heirloom foods on my blog: talking about coincidences. This salad is just perfect, I'm gonna add a link to this recipe.
Btw, do you know what's the name of the variety of apples you used? They almost look like plums.
Anyway, so sorry to hear about your basement, hopefully you'll get everything back in order soon enough.

HS: Hi Mike, I believe they were Arkansas Black apples.


Belinda @zomppa
December 3, 2012

So sorry about your basement! Hope it all clears up quickly. More time to enjoy this salad!


fig + fauna
December 3, 2012

perfect flavor combo! love the nutty crunch too!


Ana Cooks
December 3, 2012

i really love to mix fruit with vegetables. When i dont have apples i use pears. It is delicious


Simply Life
December 3, 2012

so sorry to hear about the flooding- glad the most valuable stuff is okay!

this salad looks incredible! what a great idea!


December 3, 2012

Oh no :( sorry about the flooding. I've been thinking of y'all during the storms!

I made a great apple salad too. I do chunks of sweet, crisp apple, chunks of aged cheddar, baby romaine and a honey mustard dressing. Sometimes some toasted pecans tossed in. Your salad looks delicious!


Abby@ The Frosted Vegan
December 3, 2012

Best of luck with the basement clean-up! Photos are wonderful and salad looks divine : )


December 3, 2012

Yum! Can sense this one will become a favourite- the dressing is sensational!


December 3, 2012

Heidi, I'm so sorry about the basement! We've been through that before and it's never fun. Sending positive thoughts your way.

That dressing sounds delicious, and I love the idea of it over sweet potatoes. Definitely going to give it a try the next time I have some on hand!


December 3, 2012

Beautiful. Hoping everything isn't too soggy!


jackie @ marin mama cooks
December 3, 2012

Gorgeous salad as always Heidi. I'm so sorry about your basement flooding. That was a terrible round of storms and I'm so glad that they are over so we can dry out this week. It was too much rain in a short period of time and those winds were down right scary. I've been here 15 years and I'm still getting use to these winter storms.
On a happier note, I'm making your chickpea burgers again this week. I simply love them!
Best of luck drying everything out and I'm glad that nothing of value got ruined.


Little Kitchie
December 3, 2012

So sorry to hear about your basement! Good luck with everything!

The dressing for this salad sounds absolutely delicious!


This salad looks delicious. A good use up for the few leftover apples that are always in my kitchen this time of the year. Bummer about the flooding! Stay dry and good luck with the cleanup!


Haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog
December 3, 2012

This looks absolutely perfect! I haven't had a Heidi-inspired salad for awhile. I think it's time to change that.


Addy @ Six-Kick Switch
December 3, 2012

Thanks for the beautiful recipe, Heidi! It looks really tasty. I hope nothing important was ruined with the basement flood - hopefully you'll be able to make short work of the rest!


December 3, 2012

My basement has flooded twice in the past year. Argh! I feel your pain.


jaime @ la vie...j'aime
December 3, 2012

This sounds SO delcious! thanks!


December 3, 2012

Just made the pumpkin soup with brown rice last night. I love pushing myself to try new recipes. The apple salad also uses rosemary, like the garnish on the soup. I'll have to plant some when I finally get settled.
Flood clean-up is no fun, nor looking forward to the possibility of it happening again. To dry the place out, if you don't have a regular dehumidifier, places like Bi-Mart sell Dry-Ease. It takes moisture out of the air, like in cars you aren't using often, garages, basements and storage units. The dry crystals that go inside the black plastic container were on sale for 99 cents on a coupon this month. You empty the water collected in the bottom of the container when it's full.


Anita Flowers
December 3, 2012

I'm so sorry to read about your flood ... Good luck and thanks for the recipe!


This salad sounds great! Love this idea!


December 3, 2012

So sorry about the flooding. Take care and thanks for putting forth the effort to post this. ReFRESHing.


December 3, 2012

Perfect. As Chanukah approaches, I get ready to make what we dubbed "latke recovery salad": tart apples, romaine, celery and nuts with apple cider vinegar honey mustard vinaigrette (no oil!). It's perfect after having several plates full of latkes.
Now I will make your dressing for when I bring the leftover salad to work the next day :)


Kelly Turnbull
December 3, 2012

All the best for the clean-up. No fun.

This salad looks fabulous. I've made your Roasted Squash Salad twice in the past week. (The one that was featured in Yoga Journal.) It was wonderful each time.

Btw, I hope my apple cake question didn't come off as knocking the recipe in anyway. That was not my intent. I was thinking it was definitely something I was doing in the baking process. (Not that you have the time to mess with it; nor the inclination. But, I wanted to pass along that note.)

Good luck with the clean-up. :)

HS: Not at all Kelly! I think I must have missed your question somehow. That cake is by nature a bit dense. And if you're adding more fruit that will definitely add more moisture and weight. You could go back to the original recipe and scale back the baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon, and see how you feel there as a baseline, and then tweak the recipe to your liking, bit by bit, as you do future versions? Hope this helps a bit.


Apples go so perfectly in fresh salads. They have just the right balance of sweet to tart, and in my opinion, elevate most salads to the next level. I imagine the rosemary and celery also add a great flavor kick!


Ketmala Phoumalavong
December 3, 2012

Oh my! I am sorry to hear about the flood in your basement. Good luck and thank you for sharing another amazing recipe in the midst of the clean-up and madness. Good luck!


December 3, 2012

Hi Heidi,
Could you send some of that excessive rain our way in Colorado, where it is dry, Dry, DRY, with forest fires?? ;)
Hope all gets cleared up soon, with no great losses.
Thanks for preparing great food for us as well!


December 3, 2012

Maravillosa combinación de ingredientes y un resultado magnífico, me encanta!!


Vibrant Wellness Journal
December 3, 2012

Bummer news about the flood, but the salad looks amazing. My favorite thing about your cooking is the ease with which you put together everyday ingredients into stunning combinations. Absolutely gorgeous! aloha, andrea


Saar Dockx
December 3, 2012

This both looks and sounds delicious. I'm actually really excited by this post, although it is almost winter, I still love eating salads! I think they're great! So thank you very much for yet another yummie salad recipe! :D

Love, Saar


Megan Gordon
December 3, 2012

Oh, Heidi. So sorry to hear about the flooding. I heard that it was pretty wild weather there, but I can never really tell how much is alarmist (coming from my mom). Sounds like she was right this time ... good luck cleaning up. xx


December 3, 2012

Has Heidi or anybody else have a suggestion what I can substitute celery with? Can't eat it so don't really know what to compare/substitute it with?
Thank you.


December 3, 2012

The salad looks delicious!
Hope you finish cleaning up soon.


Lisa Cohen
December 3, 2012

Im so sorry to hear about your basement. We had a big storm recently too and had some roof and siding leaks - no fun!! Good luck salvaging your things from the flood. Sending lots of dry thoughts your way!! Xoxo


Suzanne in Santa Cruz
December 3, 2012

So this is basically a Heidi-fied Waldorf salad! E.g. more sophisticated, more yummy, more interesting. Thanks a lot, Heidi, I 'm going to try the dressing with plain Greek yoghurt. Best luck with the clean- up!


Pam B
December 3, 2012

This looks like the excuse I've been waiting for to try making my own creme fraiche. Been wanting to do so since my local dairy person told me how.


Peggy Carlaw
December 3, 2012

Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry about your basement. Do what you need to do. There are so many wonderful recipes here we can live without new ones while you take care of cleaning up.


December 3, 2012

Ugh, so sorry to hear about the flooded basement - what a drag. : (

Sasa - I often substitute fennel bulb for celery in recipes when I only need a little bit. It's clean like celery, but with a little anise-y kick.

This salad looks beautiful! The rosemary dressing and hazelnuts sound particularly lovely; so creative. : )

I've been loving those Arkansas Black apples (they have them at rainbow). I think they taste a little like roses. I baked some into a cranberry apple crumble pie and I've been adding them to salads with roquefort, dried cranberries and toasted pecans. Happy to see them getting the limelight they deserve!

HS: Love the fennel suggestion Alanna, and hope to bump into you at Rainbow someday ;)...


Laura @FoodSnobSTL
December 3, 2012

What a bright, fresh salad for a normally cold and dreary time of year.


francine vlietstra
December 4, 2012

flooded basement. And much thanks totake the time to give the delicious recipe despite all.e
love the shape of the apples as well as the slim cuts.
Look forward to your messages.
Dry out fast!


December 4, 2012

Wow....what a drag.....love the salad though. Best of luck to you on the clean up. Been there and no fun. T


December 4, 2012

Heidi, can you clarify on the rosemary called for in the heirloom apple salad? By 12 'leaves' do you mean to simply pull off 12 of the tiny spikey parts from one stem, stopping at 12? Or am I missing something completely? Rosemary is very strong and I love it, but don't want to overdo. Thanks much! Rachel

HS: Exactly, Rachel - 12 of the little needles.


Claire from Hivequeen.com
December 4, 2012

Stephanie: love the idea of a latke recovery salad. I was having a hard time getting excited about salad in this weather. Both versions sound excellent.
Heidi: so sorry to hear about the flooding -- best of luck with the cleanup!


December 4, 2012

Sasa, what about jicama for the celery? This sounds amazing; hoping to make it soon. :)


Caitlin Elizabeth
December 4, 2012

I think I just found dinner for tonight. This looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks! And good luck with the flooding - wet vacs are surprisingly efficient.


Chloe Moon
December 4, 2012

I hope your home is okay from the flooding!!

This salad looks delicious!! I gotta try it!

Ergo - Blog


Jill @ 42potatoes
December 4, 2012

So sorry to hear about the bad weather and flooding. It's such a pain. We, too, are having horrible weather and flooding (here on the Oregon Coast). Good vibes to you and your cleaning. Thank you for the salad recipe! Anything apples this time of year just seems right. :)


December 4, 2012

Not a big fan of rosemary. Can you suggest another herb?


December 5, 2012

Beautiful salad, and that dressing sounds great for potatoes. Hope you are able to get your basement and home back to normal sooner than you expect!


December 5, 2012

Dang- flooding, I'm sorry to hear that. What a pain.

On the other hand, we semi-made your salad and it was delicious. Without rosemary, we used Thyme (why not?), without white vinegar, we used apple cider vinegar (and a lot less of it), and a baby greens mix replaced the arugula. The dressing was so garlicky, tangy, delicious that I couldn't stop eating it. There are few things I love more than seeing what I already have in my fridge and pantry in a different light, so thanks for the recipe.


farm to table geek
December 5, 2012

thank you for taking the time to post, even with your flooded basement. lovely commitment.


December 5, 2012

I enjoyed this salad last night. Thank you so much! This helped get me out of a basic improvised dressing rut.


Cookie and Kate
December 6, 2012

I'm sorry to hear about your basement, Heidi! Hope the clean-up is going well.


December 6, 2012

Wow, this looks delicious!! I've been trying to find healthier alternatives as of late, with Winter meaning I'm not as physically active as I would like to be!

Will be making this tonight! Hopefully if you can do it with a flooded home, I can pull it off under normal conditions!


December 6, 2012

I made this salad and it was amazing! That dressing was one of the best ones I have ever made (I also used it to top some baked sweet potato wedges that night) - definitely going to be using it again! Thank you!


Diane T.
December 6, 2012

Sounds like a fabulous base for any sort of interchangeable ingredients one might have on hand. Belgian endive is a fave with apples and lends the crunch of paper-thin celery as an option. Thanks for your continuous inspiration and creativity!!


Jeff @ Cheeseburger
December 6, 2012

This apple salad is very delicious! I'm gonna make some more this weekend. Anyway, good luck with cleaning out the mess in your basement.


December 7, 2012

Was thinking...mache (aka Lamb's Lettuce) would be a great sub for arugula for those that find its taste to peppery! Mache is one of my ALL time favorite lettuces - soft, buttery - but it wouldn't steal the show from the apples. Wishing you strength and grace in the midst of your basement disaster.....


December 7, 2012

Sorry to hear about the flooding! Hope all will be good soon. This looks delish.


December 7, 2012

Thank you! Have totally enjoyed this and the orange broccoli this week. While I believe that walnuts and apples are born to be together, I used almonds as I was too lazy to take the steps for the walnuts. This dressing (made with sour cream) is intoxicating. Thinking of holiday parties and the addition of dried cranberries! Oh yes, your castle shortbread is heavenly. Thanks for creative and reliable. Hopefully you are high and dry now! Happy Everything.


December 8, 2012

This looks delicious! I have some gorgeous fresh apples from market today as well and with some brown rice I think this will be the perfect crisp/creamy combo for a winter salad! Thanks Heidi!


December 8, 2012

Hi Heidi,
I just got a bunch of napa cabbage from greenhearts so I'm going to try to add some of that as well, but I'd like to sub the sour cream with plain greek yogurt. Will there be some unexpected chemical reaction if I do that? Yogurt and vinegar doesn't sound like a good combo, but I'm hoping it's unexpectedly good?
Leah in Nopa


December 8, 2012

Wonderful recipe! I cant wait to try this one. I came across these super interesting Arkansas Black Apples last month while ingredient hunting for Thanksgiving. I picked up a few to taste... loved them! Running to get more to try this recipe. Thanks!!!


December 8, 2012

Some feedback to above comment - this is my new BEST SALAD EVER! I might add some roasted kabocha squash next time because, being honest, what recipe doesn't benefit from winter squash!
p.s. vegan tip - I made this with a blend of soy yoghurt and soaked cashews for creme fraiche


December 9, 2012



December 9, 2012

Delicious salad! Went over extremely well at potluck in Mexico-teemed with tamales! Thanks!


December 10, 2012

I made this yesterday and was beyond pleased. The dressing is amazing. I think i had it for every meal today! i used Fiji apples & sour cream BTW. thanks Heidi.


December 11, 2012

Made this salad today - delish! I used sour cream, walnuts, and thinly sliced fennel instead of celery. It was lovely!


December 12, 2012

This looks like the perfect salad! The pine nuts are a nice touch!


December 13, 2012

Are those Arkansas Black apples? Their one of my favorite, but difficult to find.


December 13, 2012

Great salad! Did you get those apples at Bi-Rite market? Or the SF Ferry Building? If so, I think we grew those beautiful Arkansas Blacks!

HS: Hi Jolie! I did - at the Ferry Building! I love Devoto gardens, and try to get to your stand as early as possible to see what sort of flowers you have as well. Those huge pale pink dahlias (earlier in the year) are my absolutely favorite, but they go so fast!


December 21, 2012

I love salad. I at least make one salad a day for my family because it taste fresh and it's very healthy. Now I read your recipe, I think we are going to have something different tomorrow. Nice to try! Thank you!


CarolAnne Bopp
December 27, 2012

I can feel your anguish and frustration cleaning up after water damage - did the same thing myself last year. Stay strong... Thank you for the delicious apple salad recipe! What a refreshing change of pace for this time of the year.


December 31, 2012

"Hallelujah!" is what I thought when I bit into this salad today for lunch! I substituted baby broccoli for the celery, used walnuts, and some sliced Parmesan. So yum, and I'm thrilled to have a new salad recipe to add to my repertoire. Thanks!


Abbe rose
January 1, 2013

Looks great can't wait to try it.


January 5, 2013

Delicious!! I made this tonight and added kale and radish sprouts.



January 14, 2013

Very delicious ! I made the salad today with mixed greens and baby spinach, cut back on the celery a bit, used toasted hazelnuts and added a handful of dried cranberries. Sooo good !!! :D


February 11, 2013

I just made this, and my boyfriend LOVED it! So did I. Used greek yogurt, added Marcona truffled almonds along with extra garlic and rosemary.


February 26, 2013

I substituted greek yogurt for the creme fraiche/sour cream and it worked out very well. I'll definitely make this again. I might add some golden raisins next time.