Enjoy summer produce in this fresh and delicious Michigan salad with a sweet maple mustard vinaigrette! Fresh greens, cherries, and apples are delicious when combined with an easy homemade dressing.
Don’t you love the summer months, when all the produce is fresh and ripe, and easy to find?
It’s so fun to get in the kitchen and create something new with whatever produce you’ve found at the farmer’s market that weekend.
I recently made this salad for a baby shower, and it was a big hit. The request was for Michigan salad, but since we can’t do nuts at our house, I knew I would have to modify this recipe.
This recipe is very versatile – add some grilled chicken breasts to make it more of an entree – or add more seeds or nuts (if you are able) to add more plant-based protein.
What is a Michigan salad?
A Michigan salad is often found on the menu at Michigan restaurants, and contains salad greens, fresh or dried cherries, apples, pecans, cheese crumbles, and a vinaigrette dressing.
I think it’s probably called a Michigan salad because of the inclusion of cherries – Traverse City is famous for its cherry crop and celebratory Cherry Festival.
Sometimes this salad includes a cherry dressing, but I decided to make a maple mustard vinaigrette instead.
If you are able to eat dairy, this summer salad is delicious with blue cheese crumbles on top.
- Cherries – Sweet cherries are often used in sweet desserts, but I thought it would be nice to feature them in a savory-sweet summer green salad with a maple mustard vinaigrette. If you can’t get fresh sweet cherries near you, you could go ahead and substitute dried cherries or even dried cranberries.
- Spring Salad Mix – I used a bagged salad mix from the store. If you don’t love the spring salad greens, feel free to make this with Romaine lettuce instead, or even baby spinach.
- Apples – Fuji apples are nice and sweet and make a good addition to this salad. You could use Honey Crisp apples, green apples, or any variety that you enjoy.
- Maple Syrup – I like the flavor of maple syrup in the vinaigrette. If you prefer, you can use honey instead.
- You can use dried cherries if you like instead of fresh cherries.
- Add any type of nut you like instead of the pumpkin seeds.
- If you can eat dairy, feel free to add blue cheese crumbles.
- Try peaches instead of apples.
Maple Mustard Dressing
The maple mustard vinaigrette is super simple to make – I just used regular yellow mustard. If you want to be fancier, you could use Dijon mustard or grainy mustard. If you can’t eat mustard, leave it out, and use a little more vinegar. Or add a couple of tablespoons of cherry preserves.
Simply combine the ingredients in a mason jar and stir or shake well to emulsify them.
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Michigan Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette.
For the dressing:
For the salad:
- 6 cups spring salad mix
- 1 cup diced Fuji apples about 2 medium apples
- 1 cup cherries pitted and halved
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- In a large bowl, combine the spring salad mix, diced apples, and cherries. Set aside.
- Put the salad dressing ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake well. Or you could just whisk it with a fork.
- Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top. Toss to coat.