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Apple Gorgonzola Salad (Buca di Beppo Copycat)

Have you had the Apple Gorgonzola Salad from Buca di Beppo? This copycat recipe is spot on! Fresh romaine lettuce tossed in a delicious homemade Italian vinaigrette, topped with dried cranberries, spiced walnuts, gorgonzola, and Granny Smith Apples!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 536kcal
Author Karen


For the Candied Walnuts

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

For the Italian vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red onion finely minced*
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 half lemon juiced (to preserve apples*)
  • 3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries


For the walnuts:

  • Start by making the candied walnuts. Preheat your oven to 225. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until foamy, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the walnuts and stir to coat.
  • Add the walnuts to a strainer in your sink. Try to prop it up on something so that the walnuts can drain, and leave it there for 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a large ziplock, shake together sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the egg white-coated walnuts, seal, and shake. Make sure they all get coated really well.
  • Dump the walnuts on the prepared pan and spread them out in a single layer, breaking up clumps.
  • Bake at 225 for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the dressing:

  • In a blender, add the white wine vinegar, oregano, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, and red onion (if you think you can eyeball it pretty well, you don't have to finely mince it first, just throw in what looks like it will be 2 tablespoons minced. Be conservative!)
  • Blend together. Open the spout while the blender is running and slowly pour in 3/4 cup olive oil. Set aside.

To assemble:

  • Wash and chop the lettuce into bite size pieces, drying it in a salad spinner if you have one. (I love my salad spinner. It's so fun!)
  • Core the apples. Chop one into bite size pieces, and thinly slice the other one. Put them immediately in a medium bowl with the lemon juice, stirring to coat. (This is to prevent browning, and is only necessary if you are interested in pretty presentation.)
  • Add all the romaine to a large serving bowl. Add at least 1/2 cup of the dressing, or more. Stir to coat. Add the chopped apples, 1/2 to 1 cup candied walnuts, most of the gorgonzola, and most of the cranberries. Toss together.
  • Top the salad with additional walnuts, gorgonzola, and cranberries. Layer the sliced apples on top however you like. 


*I chopped extra finely minced red onion and I threw it on top of the salad. Totally optional. You only need 2 T for the dressing.
If you are not serving it right away, wait until the last minute to dress the salad. 
I adapted this recipe is from Kelsie's Kitchen, who got it from Meemo's Kitchen (who's blog is no longer active).


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 6932IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg