Bourbon Pecan and Apple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

May 26th, 2011

Here is a perfect salad to go with any grilled meat you might be having for the Memorial Day weekend.  We will be spending the weekend celebrating our Granddaughter’s 5th birthday.

I have made many salads combining fruits, nuts and crumbled cheese but this has to be one of the best.  The main fruit in this salad is chopped apples, but because I have a strawberry pot with ripening strawberries, I added them as well.

What makes this salad so very special is the balsamic vinaigrette.  It has a chopped shallot, garlic, mustard and honey component that compliments the heady balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  It was so good I even marinated my pork chops in it.

Have a safe and special Memorial Day weekend.  God bless our troops past and present.


Bourbon Pecans:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine brown sugar, melted butter and bourbon in a bowl.  Add pecans and stir to combine.  Place mixture on small baking sheet or cake pan and bake in oven for 20 minutes or so turning occasionally until nuts begin to brown.  Cool in pan.  The sugar and butter will caramelize.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, combine shallots, vinegar and Dijon mustard, let stand for 20 minutes.  Whisk in honey and garlic, then slowly drizzle in olive oil while rapidly whisking.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside until ready to use.


1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 apple chopped
1 cup celery
Bourbon pecans
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

In a large bowl, toss lettuce, apples, celery, pecans and Feta cheese together.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette just before serving.

Printable recipe

11 responses to “Bourbon Pecan and Apple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette”

  1. Mary says:

    Penny, the salad looks fabulous and that dressing is close to perfection. I hope your little miss has a fantastic birthday. Blessings…Mary

  2. Kate says:

    This looks amazing. I am printing this off….

  3. Donnie says:

    I definitely want to make this one with or without the fresh strawberries. Looks and sounds delicious.

  4. This looks beautiful & delicious!!! Perfect for this holiday weekend.

  5. Lyla says:

    They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and you must feel very flattered indeed. My friends and I love your recipes. I just emailed this latest one to friends who are great cooks. This is the perfect summer salad–a fact they will recognize immediately. Have fun with your little granddaughter, probably still learning the ropes of being a big sister. Thanks for the work you do for your blog family.

  6. Pondside says:

    I have to bring a salad to my sister’s barbecue on on Sunday – and guess which one I’ll be bringing? Now, if I can only remember to take a picture….

  7. There are so many great components to this recipe! I love the bourbon pecan – the recipe is so wonderfully Southern. Also, what a neat strawberry pot! I’ve seen those in friends’ gardens, and continue to admire how they look. I hope all is well with you Penny!

  8. Barbara says:

    Your salad is chock full of good stuff, Penny! The bourbon pecans are a super idea. And I love balsamic vinegar too…am happy just to use it over tomatoes.
    That strawberry plant is dear!

  9. Penny – We made this Friday night to accompany steaks & potatoes! Wow – it was amazing. My husband wanted me to tell you this is his new favorite!!! A MUST TRY!

  10. Sarah says:

    I made this last night, it was very delicious. And the smell of the pecans baking was AHmazing.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.