- 5 slices crisp-cooked bacon, well drained, cut into ½-inch pieces or coarsely crumbled
- 2 to 3 crisp firm ripe unpeeled medium to large apples, cored, seeded, and cubed or cut into bite-size pieces
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped celery
- ½ cup coarsely chopped English walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup chopped pitted dates
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dark or golden seedless raisins, or a combination
- About ½ cup mayonnaise or reduced-fat or no-fat mayonnaise or as desired
- 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Crisp leaf lettuce as desired (optional)
- About ½ to ¾ cup crumbled blue cheese for garnish
Prepare bacon and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine apples, celery, nuts, dates, and raisins. Add mayonnaise and lemon or lime juice; toss lightly to mix. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Arrange lettuce leaves on individual salad plates, if desired. Spoon apple mixture onto lettuce-lined plates, dividing evenly. Garnish each with crumbled blue cheese and crisp bacon pieces or crumbled bacon as desired.
Variations: Omit one apple; add one cut-up firm ripe unpeeled pear to salad mixture.
Omit blue cheese and add ½ to ¾ cup shredded mild or sharp Cheddar cheese to the salad mixture.