Sunday, September 13, 2015

Apple, Blue Cheese, and Hazelnut Salad

I live in small town in Kentucky so anytime something new opens it's a big deal. When we got the news that Panera was coming to town everyone was beyond excited. I think I've been to Panera at least three times a week since they've opened.  My new favorite is their Ancient Grain, Arugula & Chicken Salad. The salad is sweet and savory, full of texture, reminiscent of autumn, and is tossed in the most delicious white balsamic apple vinaigrette. I have daily cravings for this salad.

Over at I Heart Cooking Clubs it's Mystery Box Madness week and our ten mystery ingredients are: salmon, green peas, hazelnuts, eggplant, Parmesan cheese, kale, apples, blue cheese, rosemary and bread rolls/buns. I had NO IDEA what to make but then my friend Joyce of Kitchen Flavours posted a gorgeous Blue Cheese, Hazelnut, and Apple Salad courtesy of Jamie Oliver. Since I've been craving autumnal apple salads I decided to take Joyce's recipe and add some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I also decided to look for a copycat recipe for Panera's white balsamic apple vinaigrette.  I found a wonderful copycat recipe, which I will share below, and the salad was a total success! It was a wonderful light dinner on a beautiful fall day and I will certainly be enjoying it again.

Apple, Cheese, & Nut Salad
Adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals
by Jamie Oliver 

  1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups baby spinach or romaine
1 apple, cut and sliced into thin slivers
   1/2 cup blue cheese in big crumbles
1/4 cup Parmesan 

Wash and dry the lettuce and/or spinach and place in a salad bowl. Cut and slice the apple into thin slivers. Place the apple in a medium bowl, toss in the nuts and seeds and mix thoroughly.  Arrange the apples, nuts and seeds on top of the lettuce. Arrange the blue cheese and Parmesan cheese on top of the apple mixture. Make the Fuji Apple Dressing (shared below) and drizzle on top of salad.  Serve immediately.

Fuji Apple Dressing
recipe found on The Lazy Mom's Blog
Makes 1 cup
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake.
Theme: September 2015 MBM


  1. I also live in a small town in Kentucky. My nearest Panera is about 45 minutes away. So, I will be trying out this recipe!

  2. We get all excited when we get a major box chain too. I know I arrived when Crate and Barrel comes to town.
    Looks like a delicious salad filled with fall flavors.


  3. All of those lovely ingredients in a single dish - it sounds fantastic!

  4. I am SO in the mood for a fall salad like this, especially with that delicious apple-y dressing! You have ignited a craving.

  5. Hi Kim,
    Oh wow, your apple dressing sounds so good! With the addition of the seeds, makes this salad even more nutritious and yummy! I've tried blue cheese for the first in this apple salad and find that I like it! So glad to know that you've enjoyed this salad! Love your twist on the apple dressing, I would love to try it too!

  6. Living in Podunk USA our nearest Panera is about two hours away. "sigh" but one day....
    I was excited when Bed Bath and Beyond came to town so I know how you feel.

    Beautiful salad, but blue cheese.....


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