Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s Fall, Ya’ll! Give Your Salads a Burst of Autumn Flavor.

Happy Fall!  When the weather starts cooling off, we’re not always in the mood for cold salads.  Adding a grain to this Autumn Burst Salad makes it more of a comfort food, and you can feel free to serve it room temperature or chilled.  

Fall is the time for colorful and savory foods!

Ingredients (Makes 6 side dish servings):

1 cup organic quinoa, cous-cous or bulgur (Use quinoa if you’re on a gluten-free diet or just looking to boost your protein intake.)
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear or apple, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste

Maple Vinaigrette Dressing
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Sliced apples/pears and nuts add a little autumn pizazz to a hum-drum salad.

You can make this salad different every time by switching up the variety of grain, fruit and nut you use.

Preparation Instructions:

  • Prepare quinoa, cous-cous or bulgur according to the instructions on the package and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • While your grain is cooking, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.  Begin prepping your other salad ingredients.
  • Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the salad bowl and toss.  Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Tip: If you are making this dish ahead of time, we suggest you go ahead and add the dressing to your grain while it’s still warm.  When it cools to room temperature, add in the spinach, chick peas and parsley; toss, cover and chill. Before serving add the pears, and toasted pecans. Taste test and add more seasoning if needed.

You’ll know your quinoa is fully cooked when the germ ring along the outside edge of the grain is visible.

This salad makes for a great light lunch or side dish, and it can be easily shared at fall pot lucks or tailgates.

Fall is definitely in the air and it’s time to start cooking nourishing comfort foods!  We hope you enjoy this recipe!