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fall salad...whats it missing?

So I am always in charge of the ridiculously huge salads for the family events. Tomorrow is one of the cousins birthdays so I am, of course, breaking out my $60 huge oblong salad bowl and doing the salad. I'm tired of the classic cuke, tomato, olive, green onion, cheese and crouton gig so I am opting for a fall salad of mixed greens, gala apple chips, gorgonzola, candied pecans and applewood smoked bacon with an apple viniagrette.

What's it missing? Anything? And there is generally no theme of food to these parties because the palates go from far and near. We are doing Italian beef sandwiches, mac and cheese, mexican caviar, spinach dip, veggie tray, hot pepper tray, hummus, baba, taco dip, salad, potato salad, fruit tray...it always just runs the gammet.

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  1. I love fresh pears and slices of roasted butternut squash, with bacon, cheese, arugala, and nuts.

    1. I'd add green onions or red onions for a little bite.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Katie Nell

        Ditto. I'm leaning towards red onion.

      2. It sounds great to me. I'd probably use fresh apples since they're in season rather than apple chips (though I've never had apple chips). Pears, as mcel suggested, also would be good with what you've planned. Maybe some roasted cauliflower, too, or some color w/ persimmons.

            1. Pomegranate seeds would be great and they look like little jewels.

              1. Michael Chiarello has a gorgeous autumn salad recipe on Food Network which includes dried fruits like apricots and cherries and croutons made from panettone.

                1. Your salad sounds wonderful! The only thing I would add is slivered pieces of sweet onion, such as Vidalias or Walla Wallas. I find that sweet onion works very well with cheese and fruit in a salad.

                  1. well, I just slid the trays of apples into the oven. The first batch I made yesterday was eaten! There is just something about that crispy-sweet-tart-appley chip that is very hard to resist.

                    I think the shaved red onion will be the way to go. I tinkered with the apple dressing quite a bit today and I am letting it merry overnight to get the full effect before more tinkering! I have an odd feeling that I may have to even do one more batch of apple chips before the party tomorrow night! Sigh!

                    1. I'd probably use grape tomatoes rather than any other tomato for the sweetness and one bite no slicing deal. I see you have cheese and then gorgonzola, what is the other cheese? The only think I see missing is a fresh herb which will pop the salad. And if it were me since I love radicchio, I'd make slivers to replace the apple chips that might come out soggy. I adore salads with so many ingredients! oops just read you apple chip note, let me know how they hold up. I love them but was worried what they would do in a salad on a buffet table...

                        1. Ummm, would you consider coarsely chopped green cabbage for the greens?

                          1. A little late I know, but I like to put raisins in sometimes. I prefer to use golden raisins, I think they look better, just don't like black specs in my salad. Pine nuts are good too. Sometimes I add an asian pear (crunchier), as a personal preference I avoid celery.

                                1. The raisin or pomagranite seed ideas sound good. Or dried cranberries. With some toasted walnuts?

                                  1. just got home from the par-tay (side note: it is OCTOBER and it was clear, sunny and 84 degrees in Northeast Ohio today...we are so getting our asses handed to us when winter hits!)

                                    Made the salad like this:

                                    spring mix
                                    candied walnuts
                                    crumbled gorgonzola
                                    diced crispy bacon
                                    gala apple chips I made myself
                                    apple cider/juice/garlic/O Oil/hot sauce/salt/pepper/brown sugar/dijon mustard dressing

                                    nothing...I mean not a scrap of lettuce left. Thanks everyone!

                                    1. Can you tell us more about how you make the apple chips? They sound great.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: rose water

                                        sure...I washed the apples, sliced them thin on my mandoline, dropped them into a bowl of apple juice/water, used the cap of my apple cider vinegar to cut the center seeds out and laid them on a foil lined cookie sheet I spritzed with Pam. I slid them into a 200 degree oven and flipped them after 30 minutes....let them go another 30 minutes or so til they were chewy/crispy. I loosened them from the foil immediately from the oven because the sugar caused the first batch to stick. They held up just fine in the dressed salad.

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            I'm sure...as would parchment. I just happen to have heavy duty foil on hand.