Cherry, Apple, and Pecan Winter Salad

It’s time for another Kitchen PLAY Progressive Party – Pull up your chair, fill up your glass, and let’s get going!

You have checked out Kitchen PLAY, right? Every month, they do a “Progressive Party” with bloggers where each person is challenged to create a course based on a certain ingredient.

This month, we were challenged to come up with dishes using different forms of tart cherries from Choose Cherries/The Cherry Marketing Institute. Tart cherries are available year-round dried, frozen, and as juice. I was assigned the salad course using dried tart cherries – one of my newest obsessions. And since February is National Cherry Month, it couldn’t be more perfect.

I was watching the Today Show a few weeks ago and they said that dried cherries are one of the biggest food trends that this year will bring – and I believe it! The flavor is incredible, and cherries are super high in antioxidants and healthy things like beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, iron, fiber, and folate.

For my entry to the Progressive Party this month, I put all my favorite fall/wintery flavors in this salad, using the dried cherries for a punch of tart and sweet in the dish.

Plus, to give even more cherry flavor in the salad, I mixed up a maple cherry vinaigrette to tie everything together using 100% cherry juice as the base.

Apple, Pecan, and Cherry Winter Salad

Makes: 4 servings


  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 4 cups mixed greens or other winter green/lettuce of choice
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 large apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup scallions, sliced
  • 4 oz. sharp white cheddar, thinly sliced


  1. In a large bowl, toss with spinach, lettuce/greens, pecans, dried cherries, apple, scallions, and cheese together.
  2. Drizzle with dressing, toss together, and serve.


Maple Cherry Vinaigrette

Makes: 1 cup


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp 100% tart cherry juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl and whisk or shake together until the dressing comes together.
  2. Drizzle over salad before serving. Keep remaining dressing refrigerated until ready to use.

This post was sponsored by Kitchen PLAY and Choose Cherries – make sure to check out the other dishes for this month’s Progressive Party here!

The Cherry Marketing Institute is also sponsoring a delicious giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. All you have to do is make your own version of one or more recipes from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter.  All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win the following prize pack shipped directly to each winner (valued at $100).

No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited. Open to US residents only. The deadline is February 29, 2012. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!


  1. Pingback: Kitchen PLAY: Dynamic Culinary Events, Delicious Recipes, Paid Food Blogger Assignments and Monthly Giveaways » Blog Archive » Apple, Pecan, and Cherry Winter Salad

  2. I adore dried cherries, especially in salads. This is one of my favorite winter salads.

  3. Mmmmm, love the different flavors going on in this salad! Especially the dried cherries – love those things! :-D

  4. Love tart dried cherries! So perfect in spinach salads! I am loving this salad dressing too :)

  5. Ohhh delicious! I love the added cherry juice in the dressing. I’ve gotta try this :)

  6. That salad looks SO fresh and delicious. Want want want.

  7. After seeing all your delicious salad and dressings lately I had to make one last night. Hit the spot!

  8. I love dried cherries and this salad would definitely hit the spot! I have some fresh cherry recipes coming up next week.

  9. I love your Cherry Apple and Pecan Winter Salad! It got all my favorite ingredients in it! What a healthy recipe to keep us on tract to eat well! ;) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  10. i love that the dressing contains cherry juice! i have the hardest time finding dried cherries which is a bummer because you’re right–they’re super trendy right now! keep seeing recipes for them!

  11. These are some of my favorite ingredients to combine, too. Salad like this is a treat!

  12. The salad sounds irresistible. But, that vinaigrette? What a great combo of flavors. Can’t wait to try it!

  13. Apples and cheddar- you can’t go wrong! And I just love that there are scallions in here, too. And cherries… I could go on :)

  14. Such a lovely salad – I love the addition of pecans, cherries and cheddar!

  15. i LOVE dried tart cherries :) and that dressing sounds phenomenal!

  16. Looks amazing, Brandi!! I love that you paired the tart cherries with apples and pecans!

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