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!
Kale, Pear, Gorgonzola Salad
- 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
- 1/2- 3/4 pumpkin seeds Walnuts are a great option here too.
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola bleu cheese is great here, too.
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup apple juice or cider
- 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 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!