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Just when I start to lament the end of summer and all of the juicy nectarines we’ve been eating, fall shows up with crisp, delicious apples.


A couple of weeks ago we did one of our favorite there and back hikes (not a loop) – 8 miles of pine forest and waterfalls, past Tumalo Falls up the North Fork Trail to Happy Valley. We had two honeycrisp apples in our packs – the first of the year. A reward for reaching the half way point at Happy Valley. I won’t lie, despite the mind blowing natural beauty, my thoughts often drifted to my waiting treat. Would it be everything I hoped for: crisp, sweet, juicy? It did not disappoint. 


I’d intended to use honeycrisp apples for this salad, but there weren’t any at the farmer’s market. Instead I bought the only variety I could find at a small stall on the edge of the market. They were small, red streaked and felt crisp. When I asked what kind of apples they were, “I don’t know, I picked them off my neighbor’s tree.” was the reply. At $2 a pound I didn’t mind.

This is the easiest salad to prepare – you can make it in about 10 minutes, including the maple dijon vinaigrette. About the vinaigrette, it’s delicious on this but would also brighten any kind of green or pasta salad or could be used as a marinade for chicken or pork. As for the apple variety, just use your favorite. I love to serve this with a hot bowl of soup like Tomato Bisque, French Onion Soup, Winter Squash Soup or Pasta e Fagioli.

More Must-Make Salad Recipes

Apple and Fennel Salad with Walnuts and Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Course: Salad
Calories: 333
Servings: 2 people
Any variety of apple will work here; use your favorite! This is written for two but could easily be doubled, tripled or more.


For the Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Salad

  • 1 large apple or 2 small, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb cored and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • shaved Pecorino Romano cheese to taste


  • To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together the first 4 ingredients (maple syrup through chives). Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add apple slices and fennel strips to a medium bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and toss to coat and combine. Divide between two serving bowls. Top each with 1/2 of the chopped walnuts and several shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese.


Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 668mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. alex says:

    what an interesting recipe. iam fascinated with the contrast in flavors, fennel, apple, and endive. what a trio! can’t wait to get to the store to get the ingredients, hope they have honeycrisp altho kinda doubt it. don’t see them around here in los angeles much.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I hope you’ll love it, Alex. Don’t feel tied to Honeycrisp – just buy whatever apples look fresh!

  2. debspots says:

    I like crisp with a good balance of sweet and tart. Jonagold or honeycrisp for me! Mutsu maybe.

    1. Marissa says:

      I agree!

  3. Cate @ Chez CateyLou says:

    This salad is gorgeous! I love al the flavors you used, so fresh and delicious!

    1. Marissa says:

      Thanks so much, Cate!

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Hehe I love that you were distracted by the food! I’m the same way! If I know I have something delicious coming up that’s all I can think about 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      Kindred spirits. you and I. 🙂