No need to weigh yourself down with all comfort foods just because there is a chilly breeze in Fall. Chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, beef stew, apple pie…obviously they are all necessary components of this wonderful season.
I needed something light for lunch. It was 80 degrees, but all the autumn food items are in grocery stores. Southern California is a conflicted place these days.
Post-yoga this afternoon, I decided that salad in autumn is totally doable. Bold cheeses, crisp apples, crunchy veggies, seasonal seeds, and sweet cranberries. Did I mention the cheese?
Chris and I had the most amazing maple syrup in Toronto last summer. It was sooo flavorful that it had to have been straight out of the tree. They definitely poked a hole in the trunk and captured the nectar into the bottle. That’s how it works, right?
Nothing has compared ever since but grade B maple syrup comes pretty darn close. It has real maple flavor and pairs so well with the flavors in this salad. So…I made a dressing with it.
I sort of have a mustard obsession. I add it to about every salad dressing or sandwich and have trouble using yellow mustard for anything but a hot dog these days. Which, by the way, I can’t remember the last time I had (probably for the best).
Somehow a few uncooked green lentils snuck into our pumpkin seed stash. It was quite the intrusion and let me just say this – uncooked lentils are really, really hard.
After recovering from the shock of biting down on what seemed to have been a rock, I searched my salad for the culprit and decided to eat around the “seeds” to be safe.
I managed to actually say, “mmmm!” out loud, despite the fact that I was home alone. That has to say something for this recipe, right?
Autumn Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
1 small head hearts of romaine
2 cups herb salad mix
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 gala apple, diced
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 ribs celery
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 teaspoons Grade B maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Using an regular or immersion blender, combine the olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Toss the lettuces, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, apple, blue cheese and celery together. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
From the Little Yellow Kitchen,