Friday, November 2, 2012

Autumn Fruit Salad

For those of you who are salad traditionalists (lettuce+cucumber+tomato=salad), this recipe may seem a bit unorthodox, but it's a delicious way to combine the crispness of lettuce with crunchy cool weather fruit. It goes really nicely with Pumpkin Ginger Soup for a fall evening meal or lunch. This is another adapted recipe from the Simply in Season book using local ingredients. The actual "recipe" isn't much at all. It's all the add-ins that make the salad interesting.

Autumn Fruit Salad
3 cups lettuce greens, torn into small pieces
1 large apple or Asian pear, thinly sliced and tossed with lemon juice

1 packet Honey Almonds or Honey Sunflower Seeds
Handful of soft or salty cheese (feta, goat cheese, parmesan, etc.), crumbled or grated
Dried cranberries or golden raisins
Cucumber, diced

1/3 cup oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Place all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake to thoroughly mix. If you want a really good emulsion that stays for a while, pulse this a few times in the blender. Adjust seasonings to taste. Place the apple slices and whatever add-ins you would like on top of the lettuce. Toss the salad with about half of the dressing, reserving extra for adding directly according to taste.

On it's own, the dressing is nothing magnificent, but something about the combination of that with the sweet fruit and crunchy greens brings it to life. The original recipe has double the salt content of this adjusted recipe, but I found it a touch too salty so I cut back. You can sometimes get the Dijon mustard on B1G1 promos, and the honey-flavored nuts are generally sold with snack foods like chips. I don't often have the precious cranberry stock so I just leave those out. Locally made soft goat cheese really takes this to another level, too. It's one of the cheapest "luxury" type cheeses.

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