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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autumn Chopped Salad

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A few weeks ago when I was preparing for our visit to Connecticut and New York, I mentioned to Paige that I really wanted to cook a fall-inspired meal together. My intentions were two-fold. For one, with so many travels this fall, between work trips and RAGNAR and then Connecticut, I felt like I was missing my window of opportunity to eat some of my favorites. Fall weather is not my thing, but fall foods are another story! Then there’s the fact that Paige and I used to cook together, along with our friend Ashley, at least once a month for our regular girls dinners. I missed our kitchen adventures and wanted to recreate the experience (we missed you Ash!).

In the days before our trip, Paige and I tossed around a few ideas and ultimately decided to make Butternut Squash Barley Risotto from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. To accompany it, we both (separately) came up with the idea to make the Autumn Chopped Salad from Madison’s blog. How’s that for foodie compatibility?!

I’ve since made it a few other times and have slightly changed the original recipe—blue cheese for feta, walnuts for pecans, hold the bacon…I’m partial to my version but make yours based on what you have or what you like. Although I almost always make my own salad dressings, I loved the combination of the balsamic vinaigrette and poppy seed dressing on this one!

What are your favorite fall-inspired meals? Perhaps this salad would be a good accompaniment!

Two Years Ago: Marshmallow Muffins
Looking for ways to use up your Halloween candy stash? Try Peanut Butter Cup Blondies, Milky Way Blondie Cups, or Snickers Cups!

Autumn Chopped Salad
slightly adapted from Espresso and Cream

-6-8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
-2 medium pears, chopped
-1 cup dried cranberries
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-4-6 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
-poppy seed salad dressing (I use light)
-balsamic vinaigrette (I use light)

1. In a large bowl, toss lettuce, pears, cranberries, walnuts, and blue cheese.
2. In a small bowl, mix the two dressings (approximately 70% poppy seed, 30% balsamic). Pour desired amount onto salad and toss to coat.

This post is linked to Eat at Home.