Salads have a bad reputation for being… well, a little lackluster. And while they certainly can be, we don’t have to settle for a boring salad!
Personally, I love salads, and enjoy finding new ways to liven them up throughout the seasons. Fall salads, in particular, are some of my favorite – the ingredients that are in-season this time of year always bring such amazing flavor and texture to a bowl of leafy greens. I have a couple of great recipes up my sleeve, and of course, I have to share them with you!
But, before I share my three favorite fall salad recipes with you, I also wanted to share some of my go-to ‘pro’ tips for building the perfect salad. You’ll never eat a boring salad again:
- Always use a mix of greens – i.e. arugula + spinach, spring mix, kale + red lettuce
- Add fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, sage, cilantro, etc. to your salads for amazing flavor!
- Balance out all the flavors and textures – try to include something sweet, something bitter or acidic, something creamy, and something crunchy
- Make your own dressing!
- Don’t forget to season – salad deserves salt and pepper too (though you should save this until the very end)
Follow these tips, and you’ll never eat a bland salad again! And now, let’s get to my top three fall salad recipes.
What you’ll need…
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad – Serves 2-4 Individuals
- 4 cups mixed greens
- ¾ cup butternut squashed, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes, and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- ¾ cup beets, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes, and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, roasted until golden brown
- Sage, diced, to taste
- For the dressing: 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed, 4 tbsps apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper (to taste), 2/3 cup olive oil
Autumnal Apple Salad – Serves 2-4 Individuals
- 4 cups spinach + arugula
- 1 cup apple, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup red onion, sliced
- ⅓ cup pecans, roasted until lightly browned
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
- Chives, sliced, to taste
- For the dressing: 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard
Kale Power Salad – Serves 2-4 Individuals
- 4 cups kale + spinach
- ½ cup golden figs, sliced in half
- 1 cup acorn squash, sliced and roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
- ⅓ cup walnuts, roasted until golden brown
- ½ cup feta cheese
- For the dressing: 2 tbsp minced shallot, 1 clove garlic minced, 3 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ½ cup oil (olive works well)
For all of these recipes, you’ll need to…
Begin by roasting the vegetables (butternut squash and beets in the first recipe, and acorn squash in the third recipe) in the oven at 375º F for 30 minutes, or until tender. While the vegetables are roasting, combine salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk until well combined. Set aside.
When the vegetables are nearly done, roast the nuts in the oven at 375º F for no more than 3 minutes. If they still need some additional browning, leave them in the oven for another few minutes, checking often to make sure they don’t burn (this happens quickly!).
In a large bowl, add salad ingredients for each of these recipes, and toss together with dressing until well combined. Serve, and enjoy!
What do you think about salads? Whether or not you think salads are the best, you’ll have to let me know if you try one (or all) of these recipes! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!