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Monday, January 3, 2011

Autumn Salad

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Don't be misled by the title of this salad; you can eat this year-round. The primary "Autumn" factor in this salad is the pumpkin seeds, and those can easily be found in many grocery stores. We got ours in the bulk foods section at a local grocery store.

We served this salad at our Christmas dinner, a grand affair with quite a spread of food. I'll be sharing several other recipes from the meal over the next several days. Though rather simple, this salad was a favorite among many at the table. I even caught my mother in law sneaking bites of the leftovers in the kitchen after dinner ;) I tell you this not to embarrass Lynn, but to show you that this salad is good enough to be grabbing extra bites of! Keep this salad in mind for your next dinner party; it would be an ideal accompaniment for a main course of anything from pasta to soup to meat.

One Year Ago: Pomegranate Salad with Honey-Cider Vinaigrette

Autumn Salad
from Better Homes and Gardens October 2004

-4 tsp sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
-3/4 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1/8 tsp salt
-2 medium heads red leaf lettuce, torn (12 cups) [we used spring mix]
-3-4 medium seedless tangerines, peeled and sectioned
-1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
-2 medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into cunks
-8 tbsp cumin-toasted pumpkin seeds (recipe below)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and cumin. Gradually whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the salt & pepper.
2. In a large salad bowl, add lettuce, tangerines, onion, avocados, and 6 tbsp of the pumpkin seeds. Toss lightly with dressing. Top with additional pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Cumin-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
-1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
-2 tsp cooking oil
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Spread seeds in a parchment paper-lined 8x8-inch dish.
2. Bake, uncovered, for one hour. Remove parchment paper. Add oil, cumin, and salt. Toss to coat.
3. Bake, uncovered, 10-15 minutes more, or until toasted, stirring once. Transfer seeds to paper towels to cool. *Makes 1 cup.