Johnny Appleseed Salad

That Yummy: Something Different!

June 7 2009 070

Near the beginning of my teaching career, oh, about twenty five years ago, I was invited to lunch at a student’s cabin. I was fortunate enough to teach both sisters, Katie and Kenna, grade one and two. They are now grown adults with families of their own. I still see their little hands curled around their pencils as they each wrote their precious little stories. I still have a little book Katie gave to me that she wrote about me. It ends with, “œAnd, the most important thing about Mrs. Rodgers is that she has the biggest, fluffiest hugs!” Who could top that? You cannot imagine the picture she drew to go with it so many years ago. Such a happy work of art. Yet, it is through this salad that I remember their sweet smiles, and the wonderful parenting of their mother, a frequent volunteer in my Early Childhood classroom.

For lunch, she made this salad, or one very similar. There was no recipe. We raved about it. (There was a second guest.) She said that a friend of hers had it at a restaurant somewhere and came home and figured it out as we ate it that day. This is a substantial salad. It is absolutely scrumptious, with a burst of flavour not expected, or usually found in a salad. It is packed full of fibre and “œgood for you” tid-bits. You will find that you chew and chew and chew. You will take more than you can actually eat, and you will want to make it another day. So, when asked to bring a salad to Ragan’s surprise party for her fellow, this was the one!
Here is the photo recipe with the written version to follow:
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One large carrot, julienned and then diced very small. Two stalks of celery also julienned and then diced very small.
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One half of a small head of purple cabbage sliced, and then diced.
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One cup of raisons, and then, for the dressing, two heaping tablespoons full of mayonnaise.
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One level tablespoon of golden honey. One half a teaspoon of cinnamon, one quarter teaspoon each of cloves, and nutmeg.
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One half cup of raw sunflower seeds, two tablespoons of poppy seed, and one cup of salted and roasted cashews. Yum!
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I store everything like this until just before serving, then I core and dice the apples and add the nuts, seeds, and dressing.
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The colours are so beautiful, and with the seeds, nuts, raisons, fruit and vegetables, this is a full meal in a bowl!
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Johnny Appleseed Salad
  • one large carrot, diced
  • 2 pieces of celery, diced
  • 1/2 small head of purple cabbage, diced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, diced (not peeled)
  • 1 cup raisons
  • 1 cup salted, roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
  1. dice all vegetables and the apples; put the apples into acidulated water until ready to use (one litre of water tot he juice of one lemon)
  2. toss all ingredients in a large bowl, except the cashews, and add the dressing
  3. the cashews tend to get soft if left long in this salad, so toss them in at the very last minute
  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise (I make my own, or use Hellman’s Best Food’s)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
Mix all together and toss into salad, but do not add all. The leaves are to be coated. The salad takes very little dressing. See the typical summer barbeque spread below. But, this one was extra special, as it was Jason’s Thirtieth! The trip to Wainwright was long, but it was woth it. The company was warm and welcoming, and the party was great!
If you make this salad, send in your feedback! I am certain that my former students and their mother would be very surprised to know how their sharing of this special salad has made them a part of our family every time I serve it. Thank you, Mrs. H, Katie, and Kenna! XO



  1. Lauren says

    wow, the pictures make it look delicious. i could go for some johnny appleseed right now!! i totally remember going to the H’s cabin and singing the song "johnny appleseed" before we ate. so funny!! wow.

  2. petra walters says

    I made this for a luncheon recently…it is such a pretty salad to assemble and delicious too. It has a unique taste for a salad and I think it is a pleasant surprise. You can hear people saying..I think it is no…it is cloves…etc. Your photos are superb and make me want to make it again soon.

    • Valerie says

      It is delicious and such a surprise, isn’t it? So rarely one is surprised by flavour, especially when eating a salad. Thanks for letting me know you made this, Petra! I know this salad recipe is nowhere, but here. It is delicious, nutritious, and economical – even with the cashews, because you don’t need many. And fibre? Let’s just say that this is a salad you do have to chew. That is a big part of the appeal: chewing captures an entire prism of flavour with this salad! I am so excited, Petra!!!! :) XO

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