I love this salad SO much. It has everything I love about fall produce – pears and pomegranates – plus a tangy apple cider vinegar dressing. The crunchy walnuts and tangy goat cheese just round out the flavors and textures in this dish. It would be beautiful on a Thanksgiving table (and lighter, with a nice note of acid to balance the other heavy foods). You could also sub cranberries for pomegranates too. It’s the kind of dish at a buffet that surprises me and makes me want more.
I recently thumbed through Ina Garten’s Cookbook, How to Cook Like A Pro, and when I got to a page that listed her Apple Cider Dressing, I had to laugh. It was the exact dressing I had just made and put on this salad. I don’t know if that qualifies me as a pro, especially because it’s a very simple, basic recipe that is delicious and easy and you’ll use it all the time.
I actually buy all the ingredients for it in bulk at BJs, including a one pound bag of shallots. I guess I really need to have the makings for it in my pantry. Yes, that is a giant Dijon jar you see there and I love it!
This dressing just brings every thing in this salad together. The toasted walnuts…
The pomegranate seeds and crumbled goat cheese…
This salad hits the high notes for flavor but also it’s just so pretty.
That whole ‘we eat with our eyes first’ idea means that our mouths and our tummies will be so satisfied with this on our plate. And you can play around with the ingredients – roasted butternut squash, candied pecans, dried cranberries all play well with this dressing. And I highly recommend grabbing a big wooden bowl like this if you see one! This functions as our fruit bowl but I have made a huge salad in it for parties before and it always dresses up the table and is always one of the first dishes to be polished off.
Hope this salad helps you round out your fall entertaining table! But it is equally as good for a simple dinner or a lunch for one.
Happy Eating! xoxo Katie
Fall Salad with Apple Cider Dressing, Pears, Goat Cheese and Pomegranate (printer versions here):
16 oz. of mixed greens (the mix I used had shredded carrot, pretty but optional)
3-4 oz. of crumbled goat cheese
1-2 sliced pears
⅓ cup toasted walnuts
⅓ cup pomegranate seeds (or substitute dried cranberries)
For the dressing:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup olive oil (I like a 2:3 ratio of vinegar to oil but you make like it 1:2 and use 1/2 cup of oil)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 T. chopped shallots
S & P
Slice pears, toast walnuts, and prepare pomegranate seeds and goat cheese, if you’ve bought them whole.
Mix dressing, then add most of it to greens, tasting to see how well-dressed it is. Add more dressing if needed.
Layout in a wooden bowl, then top with sliced pears, pomegranate, goat cheese and walnuts.