I have a friend who, when I ask her if I can bring anything when she invites me to dinner, usually asks me to bring a salad.
I’m thrilled that my salad-making skills are being tested.
I really like making salads – interesting salads that go beyond carrots and cucumbers as the main ingredients. Experimenting with seasonal produce is sure to lead to a great salad. In the summer, my favorite salad involves grilled corn cut off the cob with grilled zucchini. In the fall it’s apples or pears with dried cranberries or cherries.
When I came across this autumn chopped salad, I knew I would to make it ASAP. I’d recently gone to a local produce farm to get some decorative gourds for a centerpiece (I’m no Martha Stewart, but I was hit with inspiration) and I couldn’t resist buying some apples. For the life of me, I can’t remember which type I got, but I know they’re small, sweet, red-skinned apples. I planned to just snack on them through the week, but I used two of them for this salad.
This salad. This salad is really good, y’all. I’m kind of a ‘make your own vinaigrette’ purist (because it’s so easy and you don’t get any weird ingredients), but I made an exception this time – I bought Newman’s Own products (I can pronounce every ingredient on the bottle). They worked perfectly. I’ve never really been a poppyseed dressing person, but I may be a convert. It’s just so good! The apples, the pecans and the cranberries play perfectly off each other. The poppyseed dressing brings it all home.
Next time my friend asks me to bring a salad to dinner, I’ll mix this one up in about 10 minutes and be on my way. Hopefully, she’ll love it as much as I do.
Autumn Chopped Salad
Inspired by Espresso and Cream
- 3 heads of Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 medium apples (any sweet apple will do), chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 4 slices thick cut (nitrite, nitrate free) bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
- 4 ounces of Feta cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup poppyseed dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the dressing and the vinaigrette and pour over the salad.