Apple Poppy Seed Raisin Salad: A Fall/Winter Salad That Can Serve As a Whole Meal
As try as I might, I am not a major salad person. I do order one every once in awhile, but never as a stand-alone meal. I know that I wouldn’t feel quite satisfied enough without pairing it with pasta or a burger, and of course some bread. However, this particular salad always serves as a full meal for me, and leaves me feeling full every single time — especially because my greens to toppings ratio ends up being approximately 1:2.
Note: I cannot take credit for this salad whatsoever! In junior high and high school my good friend, Kaley Allison, would often make this combination that her mom concocted. I loved it and started replicating it, and it has been a staple in my meal rotation ever since. So thank you to Kaley’s mom for this well-loved recipe that I have passed along to dozens of people.
I often take it to family and friend get-togethers (most recently, our Friendsgiving), and it receives rave reviews every single time. In fact, I’ve had several people text me afterwards asking what was in it. If you bring this salad and my go-to wine for holiday parties to your next potluck, Christmas party or simply to a friend’s house for dinner, you are good to go. Plus, you’ll spend less than five minutes preparing it all!
The most important ingredient for the salad is Briannas Poppy Seed Dressing (why is there no apostrophe in their name?), and without it, the salad would not be what it is. I haven’t replaced it with another dressing to test this theory, but frankly, I’m afraid to. The rest is flexible! In fact, the original recipe included small pieces of turkey deli meat, but I omitted that because it felt too filling. However, that is certainly an option for those with a bigger appetite.
The ingredients are few and the process is simple, as with most salads. Cut up a honeycrisp apple into bite-sized pieces, and mix everything together — the spring mix, apples, cashews, raisins, and parmesan cheese, and top it with the famous poppy seed dressing. Portion this for whatever your circumstance is. If I am making a large batch for a party, I use half of or sometimes the entire box of spring mix. I then use the whole apple, and add ingredients until it looks proportional and will feed the right amount of people. However, the salad is usually a small blip on someone’s plate amongst other sides, so you don’t have to multiply the list below by however many people you are serving!
Again, this approximate portion size can act as a full meal for me. I like to put an equal amount of each ingredient (with extra apples), which explains the ¼ cup redundancy going on. But there is so much flexibility to increase or decrease the amount for any of the ingredients.