recipe

November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving Salads

Thanksgiving Salads can be the bright spot of a typically carbohydrate heavy, rich, calorie-laden meal. Salads are perfect to bring to a potluck as they keep well and can travel long distances and be assembled on site for a large group. If you are having a small group a composed salad on pretty vintage salad plates can make the holiday table even more festive. 

One of my favorite additions to Fall salads is the brown, hard fairly large Asian Pears.

Asian Pears range from green to golden yellow and look like a cross between a large apple and a pear. They are crunchy, sweet and very firm even when ripe which make them the perfect fruit for salad as they hold up well to tossing. Asian pears are a good source of vitamin C and will stay fresh for 2-3 weeks at room temperature or up to 3 months when refrigerated so they are a great addition to any shopping cart. If you want to prep and cut Asian Pears ahead of time you can keep them from browning by tossing them in ¼ cup apple juice to 1 cup water.

Another favorite for Fall salads is cubed and roasted Butternut squash. When you roast squash the sugars caramelize giving a wonderful toasty caramelized appearance and a rich, sweet flavor. Squash is heavily concentrated with nutrients like vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as zinc, potassium and its high fiber content, makes it desirable for people looking for healthy options.

Pomegranate Seeds are a very colorful and festive addition to holiday salads with their tart, sweet bright red seeds. Pomegranate themselves are large, red, beautiful fruit, with shiny red “jewels,” like seeds containing sweet juicy nectar surrounding a white seed in the middle. Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. To seed a pomegranate you cut it in half and hold the half cut side down over a bowl and bang on the outside of the fruit until the seeds release from the pith of the fruit.

Try these healthy salads that take advantage of the fruits and vegetables of the season.

 

Asian Pear Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans and Ginger Vinaigrette

Serves 8-10

Salad Ingredients

  • 14 oz or 2 boxes/bags of baby Spinach
  • 2 Asian Pears cut into thin slices

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons Apple Cider
  • 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (use a microplate)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 small cloves shallot grated (use a microplate)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Maple Pecan Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • ¼ cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Vinaigrette Instructions

  1. Blend, whisk or shake until smooth and emulsified.

Maple Pecan Instructions

  1. Spread nuts out in a cast iron skillet
  2. Toast Nuts until light brown on Medium heat
  3. Add ¼ cup Maple Syrup once the nuts have browned and stir trying to coat each nut with some syrup.
  4. Quickly salt the nuts while they are caramelizing and you are stirring.

The syrup will bubble in the hot pan and stick to the nuts as they caramelize. Do not let them burn – this entire process takes less than a minute.

Salad Instructions

  1. Prepare vinaigrette
  2. Prepare produce. Wash and dry greens and thinly slice Asian pear by cutting in half to get a flat surface and then cut into slivers.
  3. Assemble salad. Just before serving, toss Spinach with vinaigrette. Assemble salad on individual plates if composing and arrange Pears in a flower shape in center of the greens and sprinkle with the Maple Pecans. If buffet style assemble and toss salad and pecans. Lay Asian pears in flower shapes on the top of the salad bowl or large serving platter.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Maple Pecan Salad with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese

Serves 8-10

Salad Ingredients

  • 14 oz Spinach
  • ½ cup Pomegranate seeds
  • 1 log Goat Cheese crumbled

Butternut Squash Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked pepper

Maple Pecan Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • ¼ cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons pomegranate juice. (you can use bottled POM Wonderful or the juice from pomegranates already de-seeded)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey
  • 2 tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Butternut Squash Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss butternut squash cubes in 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until just tender. You don’t want it to get mushy, just tender.

Maple Pecan Instructions

  1. Spread nuts out in a cast iron skillet
  2. Toast Nuts until light brown on Medium heat
  3. Add ¼ cup Maple Syrup once the nuts have browned and stir trying to coat each nut with some syrup.
  4. Quickly salt the nuts while they are caramelizing and you are stirring.

The syrup will bubble in the hot pan and stick to the nuts as they caramelize. Do not let them burn – this entire process takes less than a minute.

Vinaigrette Instructions

  1. Blend, whisk or shake until smooth and emulsified.

Salad Instructions

  1. Roast Squash
  2. Prepare vinaigrette
  3. Prepare produce. Wash and dry greens.
  4. Assemble salad. Just before serving, toss Spinach with vinaigrette. Assemble salad on individual plates if composing and arrange squash in center of the greens and sprinkle with the Maple Pecans, Pomegranate Seeds and crumbled goat cheese on top. If buffet style assemble and toss salad, squash, pecans and Pomegranate Seeds and top with crumbled goat cheese.

 

 

Asian Pear Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans and Ginger Vinaigrette

Asian Pear Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans and Ginger Vinaigrette

Serves 8-10

Salad Ingredients

  • 14 oz or 2 boxes/bags of baby Spinach
  • 2 Asian Pears cut into thin slices

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons Apple Cider
  • 1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (use a microplate)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 small cloves shallot grated (use a microplate)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Maple Pecan Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • ¼ cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Vinaigrette Instructions

  1. Blend, whisk or shake until smooth and emulsified.

Maple Pecan Instructions

  1. Spread nuts out in a cast iron skillet
  2. Toast Nuts until light brown on Medium heat
  3. Add ¼ cup Maple Syrup once the nuts have browned and stir trying to coat each nut with some syrup.
  4. Quickly salt the nuts while they are caramelizing and you are stirring.

The syrup will bubble in the hot pan and stick to the nuts as they caramelize. Do not let them burn – this entire process takes less than a minute.

Salad Instructions

  1. Prepare vinaigrette
  2. Prepare produce. Wash and dry greens and thinly slice Asian pear by cutting in half to get a flat surface and then cut into slivers.
  3. Assemble salad. Just before serving, toss Spinach with vinaigrette. Assemble salad on individual plates if composing and arrange Pears in a flower shape in center of the greens and sprinkle with the Maple Pecans. If buffet style assemble and toss salad and pecans. Lay Asian pears in flower shapes on the top of the salad bowl or large serving platter.