This was our holiday salad… a crisp, crunchy, vibrant fresh mix of apples, shaved brussel sprouts and thinly sliced kale dotted with sweet, candied pecans and dried cranberries, all tossed with a light, lemon-honey-cider vinaigrette. Though most any Stemilt apple variety will do, I’m particularly partial to the Honeycrisp apple in this mix… a lovely, crisp, sweet variety with a flavor reminiscent of apple cider.
While this salad is certainly not just a holiday salad (it’s a great fall-winter option given our abundance of delicious apples and beautiful, fresh brussel sprouts), the true significance of being this year’s winner as our holiday salad lies in the fact that we had to get a change approved! For a family that loves its traditions when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal, the tried, true and beloved dishes we serve get repeated with little question from one year to the next. Change is rarely in the mix. This salad, however, is one that I’ve been making over and over for the past several months… and I’m just a little more than obsessed with it.
When I broached the subject of switching out the traditional salad we’ve served for more years than I can remember… one that also features fresh apple… I was met with a lot of “you’d better check with so-and-so.” And so… with all the “so-and-sos” sampled and in approval (grudgingly in some instances), the change was made.
And… quite honestly… I believe this is the salad that will now make our annual tradition for years to come. Not only does it offer a great, fresh, crisp counterpoint in texture to most any meat-potato meal, it’s wonderful on its very own. And Stemilt’s delicious Honeycrisp apples offer a vibrant crunch and just the perfect sweet note of flavor against the more robust nature of both the brussel sprouts and kale… taming and balancing the mix just right. And, unlike most tossed salads that begin losing their zip once dressed, this one keeps great in the fridge, tastes fabulous as a leftover/day-after nibble… and makes a great sandwich topper!!
How can you go wrong with such a versatile salad… new to the block, ever so humble, and exceedingly appealing… a perfect dinner partner, holiday or not. Enjoy!
Did you change up any traditional holiday dishes this year? If so, what were they? Tell us in the comments below!