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Bring that restaurant gourmet taste at home with this simple Field Greens Salad with Vidalia® Onion Dressing, Blue Cheese, Apples and Toasted Pecans recipe. Vidalia Onions are a mild, sweet and uniquely delicious onion that are perfect in all kinds of recipes.
Why This Recipe Works
I’m excited to partner with Shuman Farms this week for National Real Sweet Vidalia Onion Week and feature recipes using RealSweet® and Vidalia® onions. There are lots of delicious Vidalia onion recipes to enjoy this time of year including the salad here.
A longtime friend of mine shared this salad recipe with me years ago. I loved the flavors and simplicity of it. It originally called for something called onion juice which is no longer available. It was like an extract but made with onions!
So I decided using Vidalia onions in place of the onion juice would be a great substitution since they are a sweet, versatile onion perfect for dishes like this. What a delicious substitution it was too! I will literally sometimes just have a small spoonful of just the dressing, it’s that good!
Vidalia onions are also great not just salads but also grilled dishes, dinner or even paired with other vegetables as delicious side dish. Be sure to check out my Homemade French Onion Dip featuring Vidalia onions too!
What I love about this salad recipe featuring Vidalia onion dressing is that it seems fancy but is just so simple. It’s a great way to bring that restaurant flavor home.
Vidalia onions also have a longer shelf life than many other produce items, making them a great pantry item to have on hand and help you prevent food waste.
All Shuman Farm onions are non-GMO, grown using either organic or conventional farming practices that have been perfected for generations. To find out more about how they are grown, harvested, packaged and shipped visit the Farm To Table section of the Shuman Farms website.
Vidalia onion season runs from mid-April to early August so look for RealSweet Vidalia onions in the produce department of your favorite grocery store during those months.
Apple cider vinegar can usually be found on the condiment aisle of the grocery store next to a variety of flavored vinegars. I often choose the store brand to save some money—sometimes it can be quite a difference in price!
My family likes the mixed greens lettuce blend but you can also choose combination of spring mix greens or even toss in some spinach too (we like baby spinach the best).
Blue cheese can be found in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. Sometimes this is near the deli but other times I find it just adjacent to the deli in a separate refrigerated section. Ask an grocery store employee if you can’t find it.
Blue cheese also freezes well so if you have extra leftover, you can keep it in an airtight, labeled container in the freezer for up to three months. Sometimes it will lose some firmness but I find it is still ok to crumble in dishes like this one.
The original recipe from my friend featured spicy pecans made from scratch. You can purchase some like this at some specialty food markets or sections of the store.
To keep things simple, we like to use toasted pecans. It’s amazing how just toasting nuts can give their flavor a real pop!
How to Make This Recipe
With just a few ingredients, you’ll have this salad on the table in no time! It’s a perfect salad to pair with grilled meats or a dish like my Simple Bruschetta Chicken Skillet.
To start, add all the dressing ingredients to a blender (affiliate link) (1).
Add olive oil (2).
Blend quickly at medium speed, just a minute or so (3). Transfer to a storage jar and set aside (4).
To assemble the salad, simple layer the mixed greens, crumbled blue cheese, chopped apples. Drizzle the Vidalia onion vinaigrette dressing over all then top with the toasted pecans.
Make Ahead Ideas
If you’re making up your own blend of field green lettuces, you can do so up to a day in advance. Start by tearing the greens into bite-sized pieces then wash and dry. I like to use a salad spinner (affiliate link) as it makes the process so much easier!
Store the clean greens in a resealable storage bag and add a fresh paper towel inside to soak up any extra moisture.
You can also toast the pecans ahead of time although I find they have the best flavor when toasted just before serving. My favorite way to toast the pecans is on a small tray in my toaster oven (affiliate link).
You can also make the dressing up to a day in advance and store in the refrigerator. You’ll want to allow time for it to come to room temperature on the day of serving and then reblend either by using a small whisk (affiliate link) or popping into the blender again before drizzling over your salad.
How To Store Vidalia Onions
The best way to preserve sweet onions and to prevent bruising is to store them in a cool, dry place and separated from each other. I like to store them on a shelf in my pantry or in the utility room.
Did you know you can also dry sweet onions or freeze them to use in other recipes? You can even freeze a whole onion! To find out more and for instructions, check out these Sweet Onion Storage Tips to get started.
More About RealSweet® and Vidalia® Onions
Did you know that the world-famous Vidalia sweet onion is not only America’s favorite sweet onion, it has also been the cornerstone of the Shuman family business for over thirty years!
The name comes from the city of Vidalia and surrounding region in southeast Georgia. But it’s discovery was originally an surprising accident! During the Great Depression, farmers in the area planted onions hoping for a new cash crop. But when they were harvested, they were surprised to find out that they were sweeter than expected.
Because of the sandy soils of southeast Georgia combined with the average rainfall, it allows the sulfur compounds (the elements that make an onion hot or bring tear to your eyes when cut) to be washed away. This helps them to be mild, sweet and so delicious!
More Delicious Salad Recipes
I love a good, simple salad. Even better if it can be made ahead. If you do too, be sure to check out my Mandarin Tossed Salad.
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Field Greens Salad with Vidalia Onion Dressing, Blue Cheese and Toasted Pecans
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup distilled white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup Vidalia® onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup olive oil
- 4 cups mixed field greens
- 4 oz. blue cheese crumbled
- 1 Granny Smith apple cored, seeded & chopped
- ¼ cup pecan halves toasted
To Make Dressing
- In a small bowl combine sugar, dry mustard, salt, and vinegars.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add chopped onions and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add oil then blend on medium for just a minute or two until all ingredients are incorporated and onions are liquefied.
To Assemble Salad
- Toss greens, green onions, blue cheese, apple, and pecans in a salad bowl. Add vinaigrette, tossing to coat.