Saturday was the first day of fall, my favorite time of the year! Signs of autumn are here with cooler days, trees full of colorful leaves and bright orange pumpkins on display in the grocery store’s produce department. I’m already looking forward to sipping warm mulled cider, making my first pumpkin pie of the year and taking my annual pilgrim to the orchards of Warwick, NY to pluck my own apples straight from the tree.
Fall usually means giving up cooling salads in favor of heartier, warming meals, but with this recipe you can have your salad and eat it too. (Whatever that means!) This salad is full of all of the flavors of autumn – apples, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and pecans – but the real star is the pumpkin vinaigrette dressing!
For the Salad:
◦ 1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
◦ 2 carrots, shredded
◦ 4 – 6 mushrooms, sliced
◦ 1 small green apple, sliced
◦ Corn, sliced fresh from one cob
◦ 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
◦ 1/4 cup cranberries
◦ 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
For the Vinaigrette:
◦ 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
◦ 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
◦ 1/2 cup olive oil
◦ 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
◦ 1 garlic clove, minced
◦ 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
◦ 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all of the vinaigrette ingredients together in a blender. Toss all of the salad ingredients together and top with the dressing.
Makes 4 side salads or two meal sized salads. There will be vinaigrette left over for future meals.