Monday, November 17, 2008

Delicious Fall Salads

When I was in high school I absolutely loved fall- new school supplies, High School Football games, changing leaves and crisp, cool weather. I grew up in St. Louis where by the end of August you are praying for any type of relief from the heat and humidity. Fall was always a welcome respite as we grabbed our pea coats and headed on out to Homecoming bonfires and parades.

With fall always came my mother’s delicious havarti, apple and walnut salad that we would eat alone or accompanying Thanksgiving dinner. The salad was perfect for fall in just about every way- the sweet crispness of the apples, tartness of the cranberries, sharp creaminess of the havarti and the crunchy woodiness of the walnuts. Flavors that mirrored what mother-nature was doing preparing for winter- crisp winds paired with strong sunshine that warms up your face.The salad was a mix and contradiction of flavors- just like the season.

Now that I am in Savannah, fall is just rolling in off the coast and we are having our first few crisp days as the leaves begin to change. I was beginning to crave my mother’s salad again and was inspired to create a new fall salad as well that takes advantage of the “harvest” vegetables and garnishes that are plentiful during the season- red potatoes, green beans, apples and nuts. My mother’s salad was even better than I remembered it with the oil- based poppyseed dressing dancing along my tongue.

In my new salad I was going for the same contrast in flavors that my mother achieved in her salad. I brought together red potatoes, tomatoes, green beans and goat cheese all dressed up with olive oil, seasonings and an simple red wine (gluten- free of course!) vinaigrette. I’m not a fish eater at all but fresh tuna would probably be divine with this harvest salad.

Gluten Free Maven’s Tip of the Day:
ALWAYS check that your dressing is gluten-free. Many times gluten is hidden in the ingredients and additives in salad dressings. Annie’s Naturals has a stellar selection of gluten-free dressings.

Havarti, Apple and Walnut Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
½ bag mixed greens (or fresh from farmers market )
1 Fugi Apple
Havarti Cheese
Chopped Walnuts
Dried Cranberries (optional)
Poppyseed Dressing (Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat Free Poppyseed Dressing is Gluten Free)
1) Dice Fugi apple and havarti cheese
2) In medium size bowl mix mixed greens, apple, cheese walnuts and cranberries with poppyseed dressing

Roasted Vegetable Salad
5-6 petite red potatoes
¼ lb fresh green beans
1 medium tomato
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Seasoning (Italian, Mrs. Dash- any gluten free seasoning)
Goat Cheese
½ bag mixed greens
Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette (Annie’s Naturals is Gluten Free)

1) Boil water for green beans
2) Turn oven on broil
3) Trim green beans, quarter potatoes and dice tomatoes
4) Throw green beans in water
5) In small bowl poor in a few “glugs” of olive oil and a couple of “shakes” of seasoning
6) Toss potatoes in olive oil mixture
7) Throw potatoes in broiling pan and place in oven for five minutes
8) Toss green beans and tomato in olive oil mixture
9) After 5 minutes add beans and tomato to broiling pan for approx. 4 min
10) In medium size bowl mix mixed greens and goat cheese
11) Remove vegetables from oven and mix in with greens and cheese. Add Red Wine and Olive oil vinaigrette and serve

1 comment:

traceyann said...

The salads sound yummy, your mom must be a creative genious to come up with the apple/walnut/havarti salad. you are a lucky gal!