Green Apple, Pineapple, and Fennel Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing
This Green Apple, Pineapple, and Fennel Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing is bright and fresh and absolutely delicious!
If this fresh fruit salad doesn’t get you excited for summer potlucks, I don’t know what will!
This Green Apple, Pineapple, and Fennel Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing is a recreation of one that I enjoyed aboard the Carnival Breeze on our family vacation last month to the Southern Caribbean. The salad’s colors are what first drew me in, but its flavors are what made me take tasting notes – – – so I could make this at home to enjoy again and again. This recipe is a keeper!
* This post is sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line
I’ve only recently become a fan of fennel. I never grew up eating it, so it was always in a somewhat foreign kind of food category for me. If you’ve also been in the dark about fennel, this recipe would be a great way to give it a try. It’s crisp and slightly sweet, with a bit of anise flavoring.
I even chopped up some of the feathery fennel fronds and tossed them into the salad, adding extra flavor and a sprinkle of prettiness.
For the dressing, I simply whisked up one of my favorite dressings ever, my grandma’s fresh ginger dressing. It’s sweet with honey, zippy with fresh ginger. So. Good.
Besides being so pretty to look at and incredibly tasty, this green apple, pineapple, and fennel salad has another extremely noteworthy quality. The salad stays crisp and fresh for a few days when stored in the refrigerator. The last time I made this salad, I folded it together on a Friday morning. I still had some left on Monday, so took a couple small servings into the office that day to share with friends. They couldn’t believe how fresh the salad still looked and tasted. Don’t you just love dishes that travel so well?!
Green Apple, Pineapple, and Fennel Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced (leave the skin on)
- 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- half of a whole pineapple, exterior skin and core removed, and flesh thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
- 2 c. thinly sliced fennel, core removed
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh fennel fronds
- 1/2 recipe Fresh Ginger Dressing
Place apple slices in a medium bowl and sprinkle evenly with lemon juice. Toss lightly to coat.
In a large bowl, fold together pineapple, red pepper, yellow pepper, and fennel. Fold in apple slices, chopped parsley, and chopped fennel fronds. Drizzle about half of the fresh ginger dressing over the salad and fold a few times to combine. Chill for 1 to 4 hours before serving. Right before serving, fold salad a few times to combine. Add more fresh ginger dressing if needed. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.
inspired by a fresh salad we enjoyed on the Carnival Breeze
I had never been to Miami before, so when our Carnival Breeze cruise itinerary had us departing from the Port of Miami, I was excited for the chance to explore this new city. We stayed in the downtown Miami area and grabbed a taxi to South Beach, first chance we got.
Because the ocean is a novel thing to us Minnesotans. We just had to stick our toes in the water!
With some online searching, I found a sweet little taco stand a couple blocks off the beach. At Taquiza, we sat on short stools along the street under the canopy of tall palm trees, enjoying some of the most delicious tacos I’d had in a very long time.
The corn and blue masa are ground in-house for their tortillas. And the taco flavors are extra beautiful. The carnitas taco (top) was flavored with orange, cinnamon, and clove. The al pastor (right) was delicious with guajillo chile, sour orange, and charred pineapple. And the rajas (bottom) featured charred poblano and onion, marjoram, crema, and aged cojita.
But what caught our attention the most were the hand-torn masa chips and fresh guac. Those fresh-from-the-fryer chips were like nothing any of us had ever eaten before, crispy on the outside and pillowy-chewy on the inside. So crazy fabulous. One order was not enough!
We spent one night at the Inter-Continental before boarding the Carnival Breeze. The hotel was located in the downtown Miami area, overlooking picturesque Biscayne Bay. It was in a convenient location for traveling to our ship the following day.
Amenities we especially enjoyed were the large rooftop pool (a requirement with our kids), evening snacks/cocktails and breakfast (part of a special we found when booking), and great walkability. We strolled along the bay to explore the lively Bayside Marketplace, offering many dining and shopping choices, plus festive live music.
But the very best part about our stay at the Inter-Continental? Our room overlooked the bay and Port of Miami, where all the cruise ships come and go. As soon as Blake looked out over the bay, he immediately recognized that this was the exact same port he had been to when vacationing with Carnival when he was just a kid.
When we woke up on the morning of our cruise departure, we could see our ship, the Carnival Breeze, from our hotel room window. To say that this siting added to our excitement is a drastic understatement.
There weren’t many places that offered the ability to grab a photo of the entire exterior length (just over 1,000 feet!) of our ship. This sunset shot of the Carnival Breeze while we were at Curacao is a favorite.
The most common questions we continue to get, from those who have never cruised with Carnival before, are:
- How big are the rooms?
- How was the food?
So here is a picture of our balcony room. It featured a queen bed (that can be split into two twins, if you want), a twin sofa bed, and a twin Murphy bed that folded down from the ceiling. There was ample closet and drawer space for clothing (unpack your suitcases and store them under the bed), and a bathroom with a toilet, sink, and (small) shower. Our family of four was completely comfortable with these accommodations during our 8-day cruise.
If you’re considering a cruise for the first time, and are wondering whether you should dig a little further into your pockets to stay in a balcony room…I would highly encourage you to do so. I think the balcony is part of the cruising experience. It offers daylight into your room, plus your own personal space for fresh air and views of sunrises and sunsets in your pajamas.
The second question we field the most is about the food. And we had a wonderful experience aboard the Carnival Breeze. There was an amazing amount of variety, from their breakfast/lunch/dinner buffets (where the inspiration came from for the Green Apple, Pineapple, and Fennel Salad recipe in this post), to specialty restaurants featuring Italian fare, steaks, and sushi…and so much more.
This mac & cheese with bacon was enjoyed by our oldest daughter during one of the sea day brunches.
This is a shot of my huevos rancheros with crispy cheese curds, also from a sea day brunch. Huevos rancheros is one of my favorite ways to enjoy breakfast.
Presentation was always evident, no matter if you were selecting dishes from the buffet lines or sitting down in one of the specialty restaurants or dining rooms.
This was the fresh fruit dish that we ordered each morning at the sea day brunch. But I was equally, if not more, impressed by the fresh fruit presentations at each of the buffets every single day. How this crew managed to display so much perfectly cut fresh fruit, for a ship hosting a few thousand guests…it’s quite incredible to think about.
Also to ponder…with all those people onboard, there’s bound to be spills and messes and things to constantly pick up and put away. But all I really noticed was how clean everything was, and how hospitable the crew was while ensuring that experience for its guests. The buffet lines and their dining spaces, the pool areas, the public restrooms. These places were used heavily, yet always clean.
Onboard the Breeze, it’s not hard to notice how much Carnival encourages their guests to have fun, even when it comes to eating. Blake ordered this Funnest French Toast for breakfast one day, available on the menu at the sea day brunch.
My taste buds ran into many delicious desserts during our vacation. I was amazed at not only the number of offerings at each buffet, but also how much variety there was from day to day. I didn’t see many items repeated during our stay. Which was a sad thing for me when it came to these chocolate meringue cookies. These cookies were huge, almost 4″ across. The exterior was thin and crispity, giving way to a soft and fudgy center. I enjoyed mine with a twist of strawberry froyo. Which brings up another fun dessert option…the ship’s self-serve frozen yogurt and ice cream station was a definite hit with our family!
Our cruise took place over Valentine’s Day, and we chose to celebrate that particular dinner together in the Italian specialty restaurant (with a minimal additional fee to eat there), Cucina del Capitano. We enjoyed both the atmosphere and our meal, but what I’ll remember most was the Italian Coffee, super hot, spiked with almond flavored liqueur, and topped with a heap of whipped cream and a cherry. It was here that I also fell in love with tiramisu. I’ve tried to love it in the past, several times in fact, but have never been impressed. The tiramisu at this restaurant was dreamy good. So good, in fact, that I may never order it again (unless I vacation again with Carnival) for fear of losing my newfound love!
Our kids would consider candy a food group if we let them, and I can’t go without mentioning Cherry on Top, the super sweet little candy shop on the Breeze.
Besides the buffets, dining rooms, and specialty restaurants, there were a number of other dining options to choose from. The choices!!
Blue Iguana Cantina was open for breakfast and lunch daily, offering freshly made tacos and burritos to your specifications. Whatever you wanted, you got. All you had to do was ask.
I was so impressed by all the fresh foods EVERYWHERE – – – from the Blue Iguana’s fresh salsas and toppings to the buffets’ ever-changing options of beautiful salads and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
Once we tried the pizza from Pizza Pirate, eating here at least once a day became our routine. It was housed on the back end of the ship on the Lido Deck, right next to the pool where our family liked to hang out, delicious and super casual. And open 24 hours a day!
I saved the cheeseburgers and fries until the end. Because they are just that good!
The burgers at Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint were beefy and juicy and so wonderful, that this meal also quickly became part of our daily routine. Even if we shared a burger between two or three of us, or just plain ordered a platter of their awesomely seasoned fries…the temptation was too much to pass by.
I hope this post helps to answer any questions you may have about the staterooms and food on Carnival, specifically the Carnival Breeze that we were on. I’ll be giving this link to anybody who asks me about these items from here on out. But just a note…not all food venues listed here are available on every single Carnival ship, so do your homework when planning your cruise.
Any questions, just give me a holler in the comments below. Also feel free to email me at email@example.com.
For more travel from a farmgirl’s dabbles, be sure to follow along on Pinterest!
Disclosure: Our family was honored to be guests aboard the Carnival Breeze with Carnival Cruise Line. All opinions are 100% my own.