#FreshTastyValentines ~ The Best Fruity Nutty Salad You've Ever Had

Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines day 2! Join us for a full week of wonderful recipes to inspire your fresh and tasty Valentine's Day meals this year. We are sponsored by some pretty amazing companies and will get to highlight some amazing products and ingredients thanks to their generosity. Please visit the Kick-Off post here to see the FANTASTIC giveaway information!

This salad? Ridiculously fantastically amazing. Seriously. I have never loved a salad I made at home so much. It had the perfect ratio of delicious toppings to lettuce, beautiful pairings of crispy salty bacon with creamy feta and sweet fruit?! Oh it was my happy place the night this salad was on the menu. I know we will be making it again, and again. And the fabulous thing about all homemade salads is you can easily tweak and adjust the add-ins to your own tastes.

This amazing dish features two sponsor products - the gorgeous firm and sweet Envy Apple, and a healthy sprinkling of deliciously crunchy Hemp Seed Hearts from Bob's Red Mill.

Adding these two delicious ingredients into this salad takes it over the top to perfection. The balance between the blueberries, sweet sliced strawberries and those crisp, sweet Envy Apples is really perfect. My sister is not a salad lover and the two of us destroyed this huge bowl of salad in no time flat. The tangy sweet poppy seed dressing is of course the icing on the cake. The dressing recipe makes a fair amount - we only used about 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of the full dressing  recipe for our large bowl. Refrigerate leftovers - if you can refrain from drinking it.

Grill up some juicy chicken and slice and serve on top for a entree salad - I know we will definitely be trying that the next time we make this beautiful dish. This salad would be the perfect, romantic, fresh side dish to any protein for your Valentine's Day meal, or a lovely light entree meal with strips of grilled chicken served over the top or alongside. You will certainly impress your special someone with this beautiful dish!

Apple Bacon Walnut Salad (aka The Best Fruity Nutty Salad You've Ever Had) adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

5 loose cups chopped / torn romaine lettuce
1 large Envy Apple, thin sliced
2 thick cut slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup blueberries
5 large strawberries, thin sliced
1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbles
1 - 2 TBS Bob's Red Mill Hemp Seed Hearts
1/2 cup caramelized walnuts (recipe below)

Apple Poppy Seed Dressing Ingredients
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (more / less depending on how tangy you want the dressing)
1/4 cup honey
3 TBS sugar
1 TBS poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry minced onion (optional)
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place salad greens in a large bowl and sprinkle all remaining salad ingredients over the top.
  2. Combine dressing ingredients either in a small bowl and whisk to combine (until smooth and creamy), or in a mason jar and shake well to combine. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Drizzle salad with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. 
Candied Walnuts from Carlsbad Cravings

1 cup walnuts nuts
¼ cup sugar
1 TBS butter

  1. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat and add nuts, sugar, and butter. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for approximately 5 minutes, or until the nuts are evenly coated in the melted sugar/butter.
  2. Immediately transfer nuts to a silpat to cool; let the nuts harden together and break them apart with your fingers once cooled. The nuts and coating will harden in 5-7 minutes.

*Full Disclosure: I received complimentary product from the #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for the purpose of recipe testing and review. I received no compensation for this post. All comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.


  1. Sounds perfect Rebekah. I love fruit in my salads.

  2. Now this is my kind of salad. I love the sweetness of the fruit and the texture nuts add.

  3. This is a gorgeous salad! I love all of the colors! I'm going to have to save this recipe because it sounds delightful. I hadn't tried hemp hearts before this event, but totally love the flavor and can't wait to use it in everything that I can!

  4. Lovely salad and extra special with those hemp seeds!

  5. I am so in love with this salad!

  6. I love putting fruit and nuts (particularly walnuts!) in my salads. And of course the bacon. I can't wait to try that dressing!


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