Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Does it get any more seasonal than pumpkin salad? I think not! There isn't pumpkin in the actual salad part, but there is pumpkin in the dressing! So cool, right? We tried this salad for Thanksgiving dinner and it was a big hit! It's so flavorful and perfect for Fall!! It's also super duper easy! This recipe is from a blog called Wholesomlicious. You can find the original recipe HERE.

I almost forgot to mention! This recipe is vegan and gluten free friendly! I used to love adding cheese to salads, but no longer! I love that these salad packs a great flavor without needing cheese.

Start by cooking 4 pieces of bacon. I cook bacon by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, I cook the bacon in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. It's usually ready after 15 minutes but it might need a couple more minutes to get crispy. Once the bacon is cooked, layer it in paper towel so that some of the grease gets soaked up. Let the bacon sit in the paper towel until you need it later

Next little step before starting the actual salad - roasting the pecans! This isn't necessary but the roasting really brings out the flavor of the pecans. I roast pecans by preheating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread 1/2 cup of pecans out over a baking sheet and put the pecans in the preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. Once the pecans are roasted, set them aside to cool before putting them in the salad.
Ok, onto the real salad part - prep 6 cup of arugula in a salad bowl. Along with the arugula, add 1/3 cup of dried cranberries, 1 pear or apple chopped up into small pieces, 2 Tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, the cooked bacon chopped into small pieces and the 1/2 cup roasted pecans to the salad bowl. That's it for the contents of the salad, let's move on to the salad dressing.

Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of pumpkin, 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the bowl of a food processor. Blend everything together until it is well combined and smooth.
Pour the salad dressing over the salad in the bowl and toss it all together. Then, it's ready to serve! Like I mentioned above, we ate this with Thanksgiving dinner, but we've also eaten this along side pork chops, Italian sausages or grilled chicken. We usually pair it with a protein and it works great!

Vegan & Gluten Free
serves 6


for the salad... 
6 cups arugula
1 pear or apple, diced (I use apple)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans
2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds

for the salad dressing...
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon of maple syrup

1. Cook the bacon in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. When the bacon is cooked & crispy, let it cool, then layer it between pieces of paper towel so that some of the grease gets soaked up.
2. Spread the pecans out across a baking sheet. Roast the pecans in an oven that's been preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 9-11 minutes. The pecans should be slightly darker but much more fragrant when you pull them out of the oven. Set the pecans aside to cool once they are roasted.
3. Add the arugula, the diced apple or pear, the cooled and chopped bacon, the dried cranberries, the roasted pecans and the pumpkin seeds to a salad bowl.
4. Add all of the ingredients for the salad dressing to the bowl of a food processor. Blend the salad dressing together until it is well combined and smooth.
5. Pour the salad dressing over the salad and toss it all together before serving.

As usual, let me know if you have questions!

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