Harvest Apple Salad with Pomegranate Sage Vinaigrette

It is officially fall, and I’m celebrating with this harvest apple salad – full of sharp cheddar cheese, charred chicken, crisp apples, pomegranate seeds, and candied pumpkin seeds + hazelnuts. It’s vibrant, beautiful, and so satisfying. Perfect for a simple weekday lunch or dinner!

Harvest Apple Salad

Harvest Apple Salad

Fall is my absolute favorite season. It’s the time of year where I always find myself wanting to be in the kitchen, not that that’s too different from the rest of the year…

There’s so much great produce to look forward to and so many cozy dishes to make. I am all about cozy, comforting things over here, so a night in with a big bowl of something delicious and a few fall candles burning sounds just about perfect to me. While it’s a season of all things warm (braises, soups, stews, etc.), I love a big, hearty salad now and then, too. And this harvest apple salad is just that.

Harvest Apple Salad

It’s crisp and refreshing, with lots of juicy pomegranate seeds and sweet apples, yet hearty and comforting. I’m talking big crumbles of sharp cheddar cheese and charred chicken, plus some candied pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts. And the best part? The vinaigrette. It’s got sweet, tart pomegranate juice and my absolute favorite fall herb: sage.

I think sage makes everything taste like fall…so you’ll absolutely be seeing a lot of it around here, and definitely all the way into winter, too.

If you’re with me, go run to the market and gather up the ingredients for this harvest apple salad for a very satisfying autumn meal. And maybe make these brown butter harvest cookies for dessert…

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Harvest Apple Salad with Pomegranate Sage Vinaigrette

Harvest Apple Salad

a hearty, satisfying autumn harvest salad with apples, cheddar, charred chicken, candied pumpkin seeds + hazelnuts, and a pomegranate sage vinaigrette

servings: 4

  • Author: Kayla Howey
Scale

Ingredients

Candied Pumpkin Seeds & Hazelnuts

  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp water
  • kosher salt

Pomegranate Sage Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¾ cup safflower (or other neutral) oil
  • ¼ cup sliced sage leaves

Harvest Apple Salad

  • 2 (6 oz) chicken breasts
  • safflower oil
  • 3 oz spring mix
  • 3 oz arugula
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

Candied Pumpkin Seeds & Hazelnuts

  1. In a medium sauté pan, add the pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts. Toast over low heat until slightly brown and nutty.
  2. Add the honey and water. Raise the heat to medium and allow the honey to bubble. Stir the mixture so that the honey evenly coats the seeds and nuts. Let the honey simmer a couple of minutes until it thickens.
  3. Pour the mixture into one, even layer onto an oiled piece of parchment paper. Immediately season with a pinch of salt while the mixture is still hot.
  4. Let cool. Break into bite-size pieces.

Pomegranate Sage Vinaigrette

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and honey.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously until the vinaigrette has emulsified.
  3. Season with salt to taste (make sure it is very well seasoned). Stir in the sage. Let sit until ready to serve.

Harvest Apple Salad

  1. Pat the chicken dry and season well with salt.
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to just coat the bottom. Once hot, place the chicken into the skillet. Sear the chicken on one side for a few minutes. Once it releases easily, flip the chicken and sear on the other side.
  3. Lower the heat and finish cooking for about 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Let the chicken cool and then roughly chop it into pieces.
  4. To assemble the salad, combine the spring mix and arugula in a large mixing bowl. Add the apples, cheddar cheese, and grilled chicken. Give the vinaigrette a good whisk and drizzle it into the bowl (start with half of the vinaigrette and add more according to your preference).
  5. Toss the salad well and season with salt to taste (if needed). Transfer the salad to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, candied pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Harvest Apple Salad

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