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Pimp my autumn salad

I'm casting about for ideas for what else to include in and/or how to dress a green salad I'm putting together. Right now, I'm thinking mixed baby greens atop a base of very thin (mandolin-sliced) Fuyu persimmon rounds with some fried lardon-cut smoky bacon.

What else would you put on this salad that would reflect the bounty of the season?

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  1. pomegranate seeds and shaved parmesan

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      Heh. This morning, I was *this* close to grabbing a pomegranate at the market for the salad, but chickened out because I was worried my guests might find them "weird". I'm just gonna go for it. Pom seeds are easy enough to eat around.

      Thanks for the parm suggestion. I was definitely feeling stuck in terms of which direction to go with the cheese.

    2. sweet/spicy pecans and creamy gorgonzola with an apple cider vinegrette. (not apple cider vinegar...apple cider cider!)

      10 Replies
      1. re: chelleyd01

        What would you recommend for the acid component of the vinaigrette--lemon juice or a mild vinegar (e.g., champagne vin, rice vin)?

        1. re: hohokam

          I didnt...I used the apple cider (really tart this time of year) as the acid. I mixed it with olive oil, a little crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a touch of dijon. Shook it in a ball jar and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I added a touch of brown sugar and shook it til it dissolved. I also forgot that I had cooked applewood bacon til crisp and had that in the salad. When I made the apple chips, I dunked them in apple cider as well before baking. There wasn't a scrap of lettuce left out of a salad I made for 40. On a side note, I would have added shaved red onion or even scallions for a little bite, but I come from a family of onion haters, so I didnt to save my sanity from all the bitching that would have taken place!

          1. re: chelleyd01

            chelleyd01 -- that is a winner recipe!

            1. re: chelleyd01

              Thanks. That sounds really good. I'm not sure what kind of luck I'll have finding a really tart cider here, but I'll give it a shot. Thanks again!

              1. re: hohokam

                They are all really tart if you think about it. Just get a small pint bottle from the grocers section and give it a wing. Cider is always more tart than processed apple juice. (blech). I guess I was a little bit all over the place with the salad ingredients. And I just made it like 2 weeks ago! It will be on my Thanksgiving table though.

                baby greens
                gorgonzola
                sweet/spicy pecans
                applewood bacon, crispy
                some craisins
                gala apple chips
                adding onion for kick
                apple cider dressing

                Have fun!

                1. re: chelleyd01

                  not all cider is tart. i had some a few years back (fresh from a virginia apple orchard) that was incredibly sweet -- naturally! man, it was heavenly.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Bad news: as it turned out, the cider I bought was also fairly sweet, so I ended up just going with a more traditional vinaigrette.

                    Good news: now I have some tasty not-so-tart cider to drink.

                    ;-)

                    1. re: hohokam

                      warm it up with a cinnamon stick in the pot. so comforting on a chilly evening.

              2. re: chelleyd01

                grated shallot makes a good mix here for those onion haters. I love apple cider vinegar. All sounds good!
                pepitas and or sunflower seeds, and then the pomm seeds are also noteworthy.I love to add a good apple this time of the year too.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Trader Joe's has a nice little seed mix with slivered almonds called "this 'n that" with pepitas, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts) easy to pop on salads. in nut section.

          2. It would be a different salad entirely from the one you're planning, but one of my favorites includes mixed baby greens, roasted beets sliced into thin rounds, candied walnuts or pecans, and camembert. Toss the greens with a simple vinaigrette. Plate them, encircle them with beets, and toss the nuts and cheese on top.

            1. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
              Figs-dried or fresh

              1. I think blood oranges are gorgeous in a salad--what I wanted to do this weekend, but no blood oranges to be had at my gourmet grocery.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foiegras

                  Not surprised you couldn't find them. Blood oranges don't seem to appear until sometime in January, at least where I shop.

                  I'll certainly keep them in mind for winter salads. :-)

                2. thinly shaved fennel makes just about any salad better, in my opinion! and don't even get me started on pine nuts that have been browned in a dry skillet.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: etowernyc

                    I was using toasted pine nuts in another dish, so I went with pepitas for the salad.

                    1. re: hohokam

                      I only thought of this because I had a really nice autumn salad at a restaurant this weekend--- had many of the above with slivers of asian pear, but any pear would be great. They used glaze cashews and pomegranates. I'm craving it again!

                      1. re: rln

                        I'm a big fan of Asian pears (and many Western pear varieties), and it is the season for them.

                        I still have some Gorgonzola, greens, and pine nuts left over, so maybe I'll stop by the store for a pear to toss in with everything else. Thanks for the reminder!

                  2. Had this for a work-colleague dinner last night to unanimously rave reviews- over mixed baby greens, farmer's market large-chopped radishes and 1/4 inch sliced green onions, bias-chopped carrots, toasted slivered almonds, dried cranberries. Vinaigrette is a good - no - great olive oil, Dijon mustard, white balsalmic vinegar emulsified by shaking violently in a jar. Toss, then sprinkle with really really good sea salt and fresh grated pepper.

                    1. I always make a "Thanksgiving Salad" .. with leftover sliced roasted turkey, dried cranberries, homemade croutons with stuffing seasonings. You can add in apples, pears, even cubed roasted sweet potatoes .. with a cranberry vinaigrette.

                      1. i wanted to bump this "favorite" thread so we get more fabulous recipes. it is fall! pimp my autumn salad! ;-)

                        1. My favorite salad and tyler florence's also:

                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...

                          I cut the maple syrup in half (I find all his stuff too sweet) and I don't candy the nuts --I just toast them in a pan.

                          Dee-licious!