Mixed Greens with Candied Walnut Encrusted Chèvre & Apple Pie Vinaigrette

The recipe for this show stopping salad of mixed greens with candied walnut encrusted Chèvre & apple pie vinaigrette comes from a chef at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation.

Mixed greens with Candied Walnut Encrusted Goat CheeseDuring a weekend getaway at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation, this lovely and unique salad was part of our first evening meal. It was so delicious, I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after we returned home from our trip. I called the chef at Reynold’s Plantation and was thrilled when he offered the recipe in its entirety! This salad is truly exquisite. Even though it takes a bit of effort, it is perfect to make for a special event or for honored guests.

The salad consists of organic mixed greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced jicama, candied walnuts encrusted Chèvre (goat cheese), and apple pie vinaigrette. There are only a few cherry tomato halves and one or two slices of jicama. The goat cheese balls tucked underneath the field greens and the apple pie vinaigrette drizzled on top are what make the salad so unique.

mixed greens with candied walnuts crusted goat cheese and apple pie vinaigrette

Note: It is important to use good quality Chèvre (goat cheese). The chef who shared the recipe recommend Montchevre. Another excellent brand is Belle Chevre, a highly rated goat cheese made in Elkmont, Alabama.

Make Ahead: If serving this for company, the dressing can be made a day or two ahead. The nuts can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Goat cheese can be formed into balls the morning before serving and then rolled into the crushed nuts just before serving.

Mixed Greens with Candied Walnut Encrusted Goat Cheese & Apple Pie Vinaigrette

This lovely and delicious salad is one of the best things we ate during our stay at the Ritz-Carlton at Reynolds Plantation.

1 hr

1 hr

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  • 1/2 cup good quality goat cheese
  • 1 cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • Organic Mixed Greens
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced jicama
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups apple juice (enough to cover bottom of the pot)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB creole mustard
  • 2 cups blended olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 pieces/slices of shallot, minced


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Soak nuts in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Place nuts in colander to drain off water.
  • Pour maple syrup over nuts; toss until all nuts are coated and sticky.
  • Pour sugar over nuts; toss until nuts are coated.
  • Spread nuts in single layer on parchment or silpat covered baking sheet.
  • Bake about 20 minutes; watch carefully so nuts will not burn.
  • Remove nuts; allow to cool for 25-30 minutes or until they harden.
  • Grind nuts in a food processor or with a heavy mallet until finely ground like meal.
  • Form goat cheese into small balls; refrigerate until just before serving salad.
  • When ready to serve salad, roll goat cheese balls in nuts until coated.
  • Place balls alongside or underneath salad greens.
  • Place mixed greens on salad plate.
  • Add a few slices of tomato and jicama.
  • Place several goat cheese balls around salad.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • Place apples in a pot on the stove top.
  • Add brown sugar, cinnamon & allspice.
  • Add just enough apple juice to cover the bottom of the pot.
  • Cook apple till tender and drain off the juice.
  • In blender, place both mustards, vinegar, honey & shallots.
  • Blend on low, while slowly adding the oil.

The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation, where we enjoyed this salad and many more wonderful meals, is located 75 miles outside of Atlanta in Greensboro, GA. It is a luxury lake resort that offers fine dining, golf and other activites, and plenty of opportunites to relax and unwind.

Reynolds Plantation Ritz Carlton

View from our room~Lake Oconee




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