Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Fall Salads…They’re A Thing


There’s frost on the garage roof, my ratty Uggs (the ones I swore I’d never buy) are out of storage, and the neighborhood is bedecked with hearty mum-all of which means only one thing…we’re officially in full out fall!

I’m not sure about you, but this also means I’m craving squash and soup, dark beer and hot toddies, apple crisp and cider donuts.  It’s almost automatic that as soon as I pull on that first wooly sweater, I also want to eat roasted butternut squash like it’s my job. Which it kinda is. It’s also a glorious time of year because my CSA is still cranking out some amazing greens, garlic, lettuce, radishes, and beets. So I’m making the most of the late harvest by combining roasted goodies (like that squash), with rustic, hearty salads, dressed with toasted nuts, shaved cheese, and an herbal-garlicy vinaigrette.

For example, this very satisfying combination that I made for lunch the other day…
Big bowl of the following:
Greens: Arugula, spinach, kale; all or a mix.
Nuts/Seeds: Toast walnuts, almonds, pecans (chop roughly) OR pumpkin, sunflower seeds.
Cheese: Use a vegetable peeler to add strips of pecorino, parmesan, or gruyere.
*Roasted Veggie: If you have some sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets, potatoes, here’s a good time to roast them all up on a sheet pan (with olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some rosemary or thyme) and save a few pieces for your salad.
Dressing: In a blender combine 1/3 cup of yogurt, big splash of buttermilk, handful of parsley/mint/cilantro/basil (any or a combination), garlic clove, 1 tsp of apple cider or white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Whirl to combine and while motor is going add a drizzle of olive oil to give it some body. Taste for seasonings. Add a bit of honey if you want it a little sweet.

Place all of your ingredients except the dressing into a large bowl (this is a good time to take out your tongs, the champion of hearty salad mixers, to get everything nicely combined). Drizzle in the dressing until everything is evenly but lightly coated.