Autumn's Seasonal Best Salad
By Nancy Eisman
For a standing ovation at your Fall Harvest table, this Autumn’s Seasonal Best Salad, featuring an array of vividly colored, fresh, healthy ingredients, is sure to be a show stopper. The earthy Sunflower Chokes, Golden Beet, lightly pickled Red Pearl Onions, bright orange Fuyu Persimmon, Maroon and Orange Carrots, golden brown Hazelnuts, ruby hued Dried Cranberries, and crunchy, toasted Pepitas, have all the Fall color bases covered.
Also bursting with important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, the colors and presentation provide the wow factor, and the flavors and textures will satisfy any savory/sweet craving , When drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette, seasoned with the warmth of pumpkin pie spice, this salad clearly shouts out “I Heart Fall”.
And with all due respect to traditional menus, I’m pretty sure no one will be disappointed when you swap out the same-old-same-old salad at your Thanksgiving holiday table with this Best of Autumn Salad stunner.
Best of Autumn Salad
6 cups Mixed Butter Lettuce and Radicchio
3 Sunflower Chokes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 Golden Beet, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup Red Pearl Onions, blanched* and peeled
1 Fuyu Persimmon, peeled and cubed
1 Maroon Carrot, sliced into rounds
2/3 cup Hazelnuts, toasted
½ cup Dried Cranberries
½ cup Pepitas, toasted
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
*Blanch the red pearl onions in a mixture of 3 parts boiling water to 1 part white vinegar, with a tablespoon of pickling spices, for 3-4 minutes. Transfer onions to a bowl of cold water, then trim ends and peel onions.
To make the dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Adjust seasoning to your personal taste.
To assemble the salad, place the lettuce and radicchio in a large salad bowl. Place each of the other ingredients in sections, forming a kaleidoscope.
Present salad to your guests, then chop and toss and ingredients together. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss again, and serve.