This salad I created for a tag game online, where a person asks someone else to come up with a recipe containing one of three ingredients they choose. Once another person commits to developing that recipe, they can then offer three ingredients of their own for the next person to make something with. It is a lot of fun and a great way to get your friends to find ways to use up your favorite ingredients, or conversely, find recipes for ingredients you just don’t know what to do with. This particular recipe encompasses two of the ingredients: dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, of which I adore on a tossed salad.
It’s very much autumn, and what better way to complete the salad than with diced apples, fall mushrooms, and a splash of each balsamic vinegar and pumpkin seed oil? If you have never tried pumpkin seed oil, it is a specialty oil, and is best used in smaller amounts since it explodes with the flavor of pumpkin seeds and the green tinge of pepitas. It’s not an oil for cooking at all. I found some at Trader Joe’s, which are around in many places, but you can also find it at upscale grocers, or ask your market manager if he can get it in for you.
The salad itself is a cinch to make, and is dressy enough for a special meal. So if you find your hands full but still need a little something to round out the corners of a meal such as roast turkey or chicken, this is perfectly easy, light and healthy and can also help to balance out the carb weight of things like stuffing/dressing or potatoes.
I do hope you give it a try. It’s wonderful!
Apple fall salad
5 ounces mixed baby salad greens
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
1 apple, cored and chopped (nice tart-sweet eating apple, like Gala or MacIntosh is good)
3-4 white mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons dried cranberries (craisins)
2 tablespoons roasted salted shelled green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
salt and black pepper to taste
1. Toss salad greens with balsamic vinegar and pumpkin seed oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Add chopped apple, chopped mushrooms, craisins and pepitas to the salad and gently toss again.
Related post on a Palatable Pastime: Hot spiced cran-apple cider
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.