Thursday, March 17, 2016

Harvest Grape, Apple and Bacon Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

I know it's not quite spring, but every now and then I have to make a bright, healthy, fresh salad for dinner or I feel like I am going to go crazy. I just can't get enough of the fresh vegetables, healthy toppings and a sweet and sour dressing. This lemon dressing went perfectly with this salad and I loved the fresh grapes which are on sale this week, along with the creamy gorgonzola cheese, the crispy bacon (yes, also on sale this week) and the candied nuts (you got it..on sale ;) Everything all put together makes for a great salad for a brunch, or a light weeknight dinner. I can't wait for you to try this salad, you are going to love it!

Harvest Grape, Apple and Bacon Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette


1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped (could also add some spinach if you would like--or a lettuce combo)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups red grapes, diced
1 cup apples, diced
Candied nuts, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. bacon (or you can use grilled chicken)--this can also be a vegetarian salad instead

Sweet Lemon Dressing

3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil (I like less oil so use however much you like)
1/3-1/2 cup white sugar (again, if you like it more sweet, add more sugar)
1 Tbls. dried onions or fresh chopped onions
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. poppyseeds

For the salad, chop the romaine lettuce and place in a large serving bowl. Dice the red bell pepper and add to the lettuce in the bowl. Cut the grapes in half and place on the top of the salad. While you are preparing the salad ingredients, cook the bacon on medium-high heat until it is golden brown and crispy. Drain the bacon on a paper towel until cooled. Once the bacon is cooled, crumble the bacon into bite sized pieces and place on the top of the salad. Sprinkle on the top of the salad the crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese. Add candied nuts (optional) as well to the salad. For the dressing, put all of the ingredients (minus the poppyseeds) in a blender or in a bowl. Whisk or pulse until the oil begins to emulsify and becomes incorporated into the dressing. Add the poppyseeds and serve dressing over the salad when ready to serve.

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