Pearsalad scaled

Crisp Salad for Autumn

Apple bacon salad.

Recipes | By Margaret M. Johnson

Cool weather doesn’t mean the end of salad season, not by a long shot! Adding crisp apples, tangy cheese, and crunchy nuts pay delicious homage to autumn.



As with most salads, you can use your favorite lettuce, a mix of baby greens, or a mix of greens and spinach. You can use this creamy salad dressing made with a Camembert-style cheese, a cow’s milk cheese with a white rind and smooth interior, or simply use crumbled cheese.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

For the dressing

2/3 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon apple cider

2 ounces Camembert-style cheese, rind removed, chopped

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

For the salad

3 slices thick-cut bacon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 apple, cored and sliced


Ground pepper

10 ounces lettuce mix

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Make dressing. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together sour cream, cider, cheese, and vinegar. Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese melts and mixture is smooth and creamy; set aside.

2. Make salad. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. When cool, chop.

3. Return skillet to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and apples. Sauté apples for 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly tender; season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide lettuce among four salad plates. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice. Divide warm apples and bacon over lettuce; spoon dressing on top.

Pear salad.



Toasted walnuts and arugula are nice additions to this pear salad. To easily core pears, cut in half and use a melon baller to remove the core.

For the vinaigrette

1/2 cup sunflower oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Pinch of sugar


Ground pepper

For the salad

10 ounces mixed greens with arugula

2 firm Anjou or Bosc pears, cored and sliced

4 ounces (1 cup) crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted (see Note)


Ground pepper

1. Make vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar, cover, and shake until blended; set aside.

2. Make salad. Divide mixed greens among four salad plates; arrange pears on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top with cheese and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: To toast walnuts, preheat oven to 350° F. Spread walnuts out on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned.

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page also includes “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, or to order a signed copy of her new cookbook “Teatime in Ireland”, visit