I made a fantastic top-of-my-head Harvest Fruit Salad for thanksgiving, and everyone LOVED it. In a meal full of rich, dense, salty flavors, this salad felt like a palate-cleanser between courses. Very bright and refreshing, tart like cranberry sauce and serving a very similar purpose.
Keep in mind, this recipe is a bit of a work in progress. Besides being a dump cook, I also made a recipe twice this big for 15 people and it turned out to be way too much, though no one was upset being sent home with leftovers! Scale up at about half an apple (or pear) per person, and you should be good, even with some leftovers.
2 Honey crisp apples
2 Granny Smith apples
2 Some other kind of apples (I tried to get the ones that are pink inside but no luck; make it flavorful and visually appealing)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup candied walnuts, for garnish
4-6 lemons, probably
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 to 1/2 cup canola oil (avocado or a light olive oil would be good too, as would almond oil)
Almond extract (maybe 1/2 tsp?)
2 tsp Honey
Salt (small sprinkle)
Lemon juice reserved from the apples
1) Zest lemon, and add it plus all the dressing ingredients to a blender, minus the lemon juice. Pulse it, then let the lemon infuse while you do the rest of the salad.
2) Juice 2 lemons into a small to medium mixing bowl. Dice the apples & pear into small cubes. After each fruit, toss them with lemon juice, strain, and reserve the liquid for the next fruit. When your juice doesn't easily coat the fruit, add the juice of another lemon. Be liberal with this, you still need lemon juice leftover when you're done.
3) Toss the apples & pear with dried cranberries and almonds.
4) Add the lemon juice from washing the apples into the dressing blender, and emulsify. Adjust flavor to taste; you may need to add the juice of another lemon.
5) Toss the salad with the dressing. To serve, garnish with candied walnuts (or uncandied, for that matter) and maybe a sprig or two of mint for color.