Tomorrow is the first day of fall, my favorite time of the year! Signs of the season are already here with cooler days, trees full of colorful leaves and bright orange pumpkins on display in the grocery store’s produce department. I’m already looking forward to sipping warm mulled cider, making my first pumpkin pie of the season, and taking my annual pilgrim to the orchard to pluck my own apples straight from the tree.
Fall usually means giving up cooling salads in favor of heartier, warming meals, but with this recipe you can have your salad and eat it too. (Whatever that means!) This salad is full of all of the flavors of autumn – apples, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and pecans – but the real star is the pumpkin vinaigrette dressing!
This Harvest Salad is based on a dish that I used to order at Salad Works in the fall months. The menu item contained meat, but I would ask to get it with mushrooms, instead. It was a sad day in December when I went in for lunch and found that they only served it in September, October, and November. Rather than sulk about it, I went to the store, bought ingredients, and made my own salad at home!
Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette
For the Salad
- 1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded or julienned
- 4 - 6 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1/2 cup Corn kernels, sliced fresh from one cob, if possible
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water or vegetable stock
- 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine.