Well Hello, and Happy September!
September is so great because it is the lead-in to autumn. Fall!
And fall…whether real, or (in my case) only imaginary, is the best!!
If you’ve been around a while you know that I am a big fan of fall. I always have been. In my dream life I spend every September through November somewhere with crisp autumn air and falling leaves… (it’s only fair that the tables are turned and I get to be jealous of some of you for a few months a year, right?…)
Instead, every year I do what I can to create a micro climate of fall in my home: I turn on the A/C and pull out my fake pumpkins. I light candles which fill my home with cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin scents (this has been my favorite for years: Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle, Home Sweet Home) And I play jazz or big band music to boost the mood. (I call it the Starbucks effect.)
And eventually I will get to all of the cozy, comfort foods of fall as well: My Perfect Pumpkin scones….Carrot ginger soup …my personal favorite (healthy (Mexican) squash casserole (<–that thing is SO good!) and of course the very best layered pumpkin dessert...
But not yet.
I mean it may be September, but for Heaven’s sake — it’s not November. We need to slow down a little. It’s still warm outside (ok really hot!) here. So let’s ease our way into the season. There will be plenty of months ahead for comfort food.
Instead, I suggest we kick of the season the right way, with FALL SALADS! Seriously, there are so many wonderful fall flavors we can use to transform a boring green salad into a wonderful autumn masterpiece. I am a huge fan of fall salads!
Today I am sharing one of my favorite salads because it’s pretty much foundational to your fall salad repertoire. (or it should be if it isn’t!) This is great for weeknights or a party. You can pair it with salmon, or a burger (we did that last night.) You might already make something like this, though the apple cider vinaigrette is pretty special and worth checking out.
In the coming weeks I hope to share a few other salads which celebrate the colors, textures and flavors of fall. (thinking: butternut squash, beets, nuts and seeds, and more cheese…. 🙂 ) I’m so excited!
So…say it with me, would you? Salad is the new (early) fall.
(no offense mashed potatoes. We’ll get to you soon enough. 🙂 )
Find the printable recipe below. This is enough for a regular size family (which mine isn’t, so I usually add a little more –especially of the fun toppings!) Also, notice there are plenty of options for switching out ingredients as you like!
- 6 cups crunchy kale leaves, chopped into bite-size pieces. (I like baby kale pre-washed in a bag for this)
- 1 crisp pear or apple
- ½- 3/4 pumpkin seeds (Walnuts are a great option here too.)
- ⅓ - ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola (bleu cheese is great here, too.)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup apple juice or cider
- 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2½ Tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Refrigerate (can be made ahead and chilled!)
- Peel and core pear and slice into small pieces.
- Combine kale, pear, pumpkin seeds (or walnuts), gorgonzola, and cranberries.
- Toss salad with dressing and top with an extra sprinkle of cranberries, gorgonzola and seeds. Serve.
Side note on serving bowls: My new favorite thing is to serve side salad in individual bowls! Last summer we had dinner at our friends’ home in California and that’s how they served salad. I wondered then – where had I been all these years!? It’s brilliant! It’s easier to eat salad in a bowl than on a plate, we all eat more salad when we use a bowl, and it’s way more fun. (Cheers to the Koelsch family for the friendly dinner tip!)
Enjoy September my friends! But remember: There’s no rush. Enjoy some salad and take a few final after dinner strolls…
If you, too, love a fall salad, leave a comment and tell me about it! And I truly appreciate it when you share recipe posts by pinning or using the social media buttons below! Thank you so much.
See you back here soon!