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Inspired Autumn Salads

Inspired Autumn Salads

    Chances are that by mid-October most of the salads that you eat are BOR-ING. Tomatoes are done for the year, and so are the peppers. Every cucumber at the grocery store comes from a hot house, and the granite-like avocados grow thousands of miles away from the shelves on which they sit. It doesn't matter what you do or how hard you try, a salad made with out of season ingredients is a recipe for an insipid, utterly forgettable culinary experience. 

    It doesn't have to be this way. With Thanksgiving around the corner, it's time to rethink the salad so that it can reclaim its position as an interesting, exciting addition to a meal. Yes, I did just describe salads as exciting.

    The trick is to take a cue from the season when assembling your ingredients. If you step outside for a walk this afternoon you'll find trees laden with crisp apples and pears, bright Fuyu persimmons, and crimson pomegranates. At the grocer it's the season for lush winter squash, and all types of nuts and dried fruits.   These beautiful, nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables should provide the inspiration around which you build your fall salads. Bursting with flavor because they're in season, their substantial texture and bold taste profiles pair seamlessly with the season's heartier menus. 

    When you're preparing a salad this autumn consider:

  • Thinly sliced Bosch pears, candied walnuts, crumbled Point Reyes blue cheese and soft butter lettuce. 
  • An entree salad of roasted Butternut squash, crisp sliced cabbage, pancetta, sliced Honeycrisp apples, currants,  shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, and large rustic croutons. 
  • Fuyu persimmons, pomegranate arils, toasted hazelnuts and mixed greens
  • A seasonal chopped salad of apples, bacon, roasted squash, red onion, Point Reyes blue cheese, and crisp, chilled Romaine. 

Apple Cider Vinegar & Walnut Oil Vinaigrette 

This simple vinaigrette is my favorite way to dress autumn salads, and would pair beautifully with all of the salads described in this post. 

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

1/2 teaspoon of local honey (optional)

1/4 cup walnut oil 

Whisk the cider vinegar, mustard and optional honey together until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the walnut oil while continuing to whisk until the dressing is thoroughly emulisifed. 

Salt and pepper your salad to taste after dressing. 


Autumn Salad Inspiration

Fuyu Persimmons

Pomegranate Arils

Sliced Apples

Sliced Pears 




Roasted Butternut squash

Dried Sour Cherries 

Dried Cranberries 

Crumbled Point Reyes Blue Cheese 

Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano 

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  • Regina Leoni
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