Heirloom Apple Salad

Heirloom Apple Salad Recipe

I'm off to New York this week, and thought I would leave you with this Heirloom Apple Salad recipe from the archives. 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 or even yogurt.

The original recipe was posted just after our basement flooded a few years back. Come to think of it, that was one of the last times it rained :( !! And a heartfelt word of thanks to all of you who have come out to my book events in the past few weeks. It means a lot, and (no surprise) you're all such inspiring individuals. I'm thankful to be able to spend a few minutes with each of you! -h

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

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 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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  • 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.

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

  • 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!

    Claire from Hivequeen.com
  • 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.

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

  • 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!

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

    Laura @FoodSnobSTL
  • 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 ;)...

  • 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.

    Peggy Carlaw
  • 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.

    Pam B
  • 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!

    Suzanne in Santa Cruz
  • 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

    Lisa Cohen
  • The salad looks delicious! Hope you finish cleaning up soon. :)

  • 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.

  • 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

    Megan Gordon
  • 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

    Saar Dockx
  • 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

    Vibrant Wellness Journal
  • Maravillosa combinación de ingredientes y un resultado magnífico, me encanta!!

  • 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!

  • 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!

    Ketmala Phoumalavong
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