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Salad Making

Staying with Salads through the Autumn

Some fall-harvest fruits like pears and apples are firmer and drier than summer fruit and work well with dry cheeses and nuts on hearty leafy greens, and combine to make salads that can be light meals in the Indian Summer, when temperatures are still mild but colors are visually telling us that winter will be here soon and we won’t be as naturally longing for the fresh green salad.

I massage kale with lemon juice or a combo of it and olive oil, and tear leaves into bite-size pieces, then add some baby spinach. Then I cut the pears after peeling (not necessary with these Farmer’s Market pears) and coring, into slices at minimum. I might half those slices if the pears are large (these were not) so that they, too, are one bite.

I add the pear pieces to the salad vinaigrette that I make with balsamic vinegar and very good olive oil and keep in a glass jar with a garlic close. Shake and pour – easier than cruising the aisle to select a ready-made, possibly plastic packaged salad dressing.

I cut any other vegetables I want in the salad, cut fresh herbs in large pieces so they feel in the mouth like a baby spinach leaf, and toss all this together with walnuts. Break into pieces if you like smaller bites. After tossing with a little more vinaigrette, I add chunked up blue cheese, do not toss yet, and I leave it at room temperature until serving if it is within the hour.

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