5 to 9 Foodies

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Harvest Salad with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

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The first thing you think of when you hear the word “autumn” is probably not “I’m really warm right now…I could go for a nice cold salad to cool me off.” But trust me on this one! A crisp salad is the perfect pairing for some of the heartier things that this season has to offer, plus, the dressing for this salad tastes great when sopped up with the amazing rosemary bread that we will be posting soon! In fact, you may just want to go ahead and make extra dressing just for your loaf of bread, it’s that good. We named this salad the “Harvest Salad” because it’s got ingredients that remind us of fall: apples, sweet curried walnuts, dried cherries, maple syrup and more!

Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette (From Southern Living’s My Recipes)

Go ahead and make this ahead of time — the flavors will get stronger as you let it sit together in the fridge! You’re going to need:

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, kosher salt and pepper. Once they are combined, slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve your salad!

Sugar-Curried Walnuts (adapted slightly from Southern Living’s My Recipes)

We knew with this salad, we wanted to incorporate something crunchy, spicy and a little sweet. Enter sugar-curried walnuts. The spiciness complements the sweetness of the salad so well, and the walnuts are even great on their own as a snack! Word has it a certain 5to9 foodie found herself up late one night and unable to stop munching on these…I won’t name names but let’s just say it wasn’t me! You should make these ahead of time as well so they can cool before being mixed in, but I warn you, they are delicious so if you make them TOO far in advance, you may find that you’ve eaten the whole container in a midnight snack rampage…just saying… Alright, you’ll need:

  • 1 (6-oz.) package walnut pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder (more if you like heat!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Preheat your oven to 350°. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminium foil and set aside. Toss the walnuts in the melted butter. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar, ginger, curry powder, kosher salt and pepper. Add the walnuts to the sugar mixture, and toss (or if you’re clumsy, stir) to coat. Spread the mixture of walnuts and spicy goodness in a single layer on the aluminum foil-lined pan. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. If you find the walnuts have clumped together at all, separate them with a fork. Once they’re cool, go ahead and dump them into a bowl and try to resist snacking! We dare you…

Now, you’ve finished making the delicious toppings for this salad, and it’s time to put together the greens! The ingredients for this salad are easily changed, depending on your preferences and what you have available. I will note some possible exchanges below. For the salad, you’ll need:

  • 1 package Spring Mix (or any salad mix you like)
  • 2 McIntosh apples, cored and diced (we like the sweetness of these, but feel free to use any apple variety you prefer. You can also use pears in place of apples)
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (you could use dried cranberries instead if you like)
  • Goat cheese to crumble (If you don’t like goat cheese, you could use crumbled feta in it’s place)

My family has always been very big on washing packages of salad (even if they say they are triple washed). When I say my family, what I really mean is my mom and sisters. Me on the other hand, I’d rather be using that time to snack on sugar curried walnuts. Fortunately for me and my walnut habit, I recently read an article that said you should NOT wash pre-washed salads, because this could actually introduce E.coli and salmonella to the greens. Now, there are all sorts of articles and studies out there saying you should or shouldn’t wash your pre-washed salad, so I’ll let you do the research on that and make your own decision. Back to the salad at hand. Add your (re-washed or un-re-washed) salad mix to a large bowl. Top with diced apples, green onion, dried cherries, and your sugar curried walnuts. When you are ready to serve, use a fork to crumble goat cheese on top of the salad. Add your desired amount of maple-dijon vinaigrette and toss. Serve it up with rosemary bread (remember, extra dressing is your friend!) and the recipe we have coming up after that! Hint: you will be “stuffed” after eating such a delicious meal!


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