Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Autumn Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Autumn Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Sunday night I attended a birthday celebration for my friend and sister-in-law Heidi. We had a lovely time eating dinner together: salmon, potatoes, asparagus, and a salad that I brought. I found it in a the October 2007 Cooking Light magazine and it is an excellent salad to serve in the fall/winter season when pears and apples are ripe. Homemade vinaigrette dressing is one of my favorite things to make because it's so simple and so superior to store-bought versions. It is healthier for you too, when you use real olive oil and eliminate the added high-fructose corn syrup that most store-bought dressings contain.

I often tweak it according to what’s in season or what I have on hand. Last Sunday night, for example, I used a mixture of spring mix salad and romaine lettuce, replaced the red onion with sliced fennel (love that fresh licorice flavor!), used a red pear, Gala apple, added dried cranberries, and omitted the goat cheese. It was still great and very fresh-tasting! Here’s the recipe: tweak it as you will!

Autumn Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette


2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of dried basil
Pinch of ground red pepper

5 cups mixed salad greens
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 1/2 cups cubed Asian pear (about 1 large)
2 cups chopped Granny Smith apple (about 1 large)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese

Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Combine salad greens, romaine lettuce, Asian pear, apple, and red onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese

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