Apple Pecan and Cheese Salad

The one thing I enjoy more than spending sunny mornings on beaches is spending hot afternoons on porches alongside breezy bays – peeling shrimp, dipping fish in tartar, and sipping the same, cool beer used to batter the hushpuppies and bake the bread.

It was during one of these very moments alongside a bay in Alabama that I discovered another kind of seafood (and by that I mean the kind of food you eat while at the beach) that warrants some consideration. It’s another s-word like salmon, swordfish, scallops, and shrimp.

What’s that about a new kind of seafood? Oh yes. Salads. Particularly this salad, which features apples, toasted pecans, and goat cheese. Savor the taste for a few minutes as you skim the ingredients.

Apple Pecan and Cheese Salad With a Cinnamon Vinaigrette Dressing
Recipe inspired by Shipp’s Harbour Grill
Photo by Laurel Fan / Creative Commons

Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 bag spring mix
  • 1 Red Delicious apple, sliced into wedges
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pecans for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. In a large bowl, mix pecans, spring mix, apple slices, and goat cheese. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. In a small jar, combine next seven ingredients and mix by shaking jar. Chill at least 20 minutes. (NOTE: Dressing adapted from Southern Living)
  4. Lightly coat salad with dressing just before serving.

Now, I know what you’re saying. There’s no sea in it!

To which I say yes, sort of.

There’s nothing in the salad that comes from the sea, but it’s the perfect bayside dish because it is the sea. It is the crispness that is the waves, the brisk splash of saltwater that hits the small of your back without warning, the sudden breeze that saves you as it flaps against your skin. But it is also the heat of summer, the tingling warmth that overcomes you when you first lay down into sand. It is a hot-cold, breezy day at the beach.

Simply put, it is delicious, so I guarantee you’ll want to try it. At the beach, I ate it as an entree, but I’ve also made it as a side. It’s particularly tasty alongside shrimp chowder. Go figure.

Check out 5 Tips (And Recipes) For Hosting a Dinner Party After Work for ideas about how to incorporate this recipe into your next dinner party menu.