If you're trying to eat healthier for your New Year's resolution, try this Apple-Mozzarella-Pecan Salad with Maple Vinaigrette. It's a great vegetarian lunch entrée or company-worthy side salad! Gluten free.
You know I'm recovering from a Christmas and New Year's food coma when I bust out a healthy salad entrée. But I've actually been enjoying this Apple-Mozzarella-Pecan Salad with Maple Vinaigrette over the last month, to make up for the season's gluttony.
I don't know about you, but my December and early-January diet has consisted of polar extremes — either rich, over-the-top fare or tasty, good-for-me choices. Cannoli or salad. Nothing in between.
It's largely because I've had so many holiday leftovers in the house. We let our daughter have a New Year's Eve party with her close friends, and, of course, I made way too much food.
Because...Hi, my name is Andrea, and I'm Italian. I can't help myself.
I'm so ready for some lighter, healthier, vegetarian and even low-carb meals. We'll see how that goes for this "pastatarian."
For now, I have to tell you how much I love this salad with maple vinaigrette. It's refreshing and slightly sweet, but contains no refined sugar. The soft mozzarella is the perfect, cheesy accent for the pecans and apple slices. (I know people think of cheddar with apples, but the mozzarella works far better here.)
Speaking of apples, you may recall from my post on The Best Apple Cake that I only eat Fujis. That's what I recommend for this salad, but I'll forgive you if you choose another variety. Just leave the skin on for extra fiber.
After tweaking the maple vinaigrette over the last month, I'm so happy with the official recipe! Even my kids really enjoyed it, when I finally made this salad for them yesterday. It was the perfect side for our much-loved Apple-Mushroom Pork Tenderloin and would be great for company.
But, I usually indulge in a meal-sized portion of this salad for lunch. I've included the directions for a single, large serving in the recipe notes. You'll end up with leftover salad dressing, but that's a beautiful thing in my book.
More salad recipes
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)
Apple-Mozzarella-Pecan Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Salad for 2-4 (See notes for one large serving)
- 6 ounces lettuce
- 1 apple (Fuji preferred)
- ½ cup pecan halves
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
Maple Vinaigrette (makes just over ¾ cup)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil (I use regular)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 sprinkles salt
- Place your clean lettuce in a bowl. Rinse and dry your apple and slice it up into the salad. (You can leave the skin on the apple.)
- Add your pecans and shredded mozzarella to the salad.
- To make the dressing, add all the maple vinaigrette ingredients to a small plastic container or bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add some dressing to your salad to taste. Store leftover dressing in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple days, or in the refrigerator for longer storage. You will need to whisk it to re-combine when you use it again.
Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser
Happy New Year-love salads and have one every day-woo-hoo! Winner-winner. xo
I had this three times last week, so that's a salad record for me, Lol. Happy New Year, Cheryl! xo
This looks perfect! I am with you on vacillating between the decadent and the healthier fare these days! I'll be back next week with new recipes and I also have a salad slated for my first of the new year. I would love to know what you made for your daughter's party! hahahah! I'm nosy that way! 😉 Happy New Year, my friend! Salute!
For the party, I made clam dip, taco dip, sausage and peppers, pasta salad, and Italian salad (all of those are on the blog), plus sweet-and-sour-meatballs, punch, bread, my Mom made her zucchini bake, plus people brought stuff. Then for dessert, we had cannoli, a huge cookie tray sent to us, chocolate cheesecake, brownies, nut rolls and fruit. Oh, and I made bagels for them for breakfast, since it was a sleepover. Good thing I did 17 miles in cycling class this morning! Happy New Year, Annie!
I am plannng to add a bit if zest/spice to this dish by addin small slices of super fresh sopprasatta.
I haven't had soppressata in so long! Enjoy!
Thank you so much. My Sicilian Nonna always used Pope. From the can. 😁
I love it! My Napoletana Nonna always used olive oil from a can too! We'd buy cases of it.
Are you using regulas olive oil or evoo?
I use regular olive oil, Kim.
Loving all of the flavors in this - especially that maple vinaigrette! Sounds absolutely amazing and looks so easy to make! Thanks for sharing!
This is so easy and quick. I have no excuse not to eat a healthier lunch! Thanks, Sarah.
Love everything about this salad! Definitely going to try this maple vinaigrette. Fuji's used to be my #1 favs until I discovered the Opal apple. Lucky to live in the Apple Capitol here in WA State. If you find them, give them a try. They're delicious!
I've never heard of Opal apples! Now, I have to look for them. Thanks for the tip, Bo!
Apples are a favorite of mine and also love cheese. So I could definitely get into this salad. But the maple vinaigrette is what really caught my eye. Would love to try this salad 🙂
I hope you try it, Stephanie! I want to put that maple vinaigrette on everything. It would even be good with chicken.
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
This is such a beautiful salad -- and exactly what I need after a month of indulgences! Love the maple vinaigrette too - just that hint of sweet maple flavor really amps up the dressing!
Thanks, Lisa! I find myself craving this salad, and at least there's no guilt. 🙂
This sounds wonderful! I always crave salad this time of year after all the heavy holiday food, and your vinaigrette sounds perfect! I'll definitely be trying it soon!
The maple vinaigrette is my favorite. Enjoy, Lisa!