Sunday, October 24, 2010

California Autumn-Winter Salad ~ A Recipe

I'm not going to say that California is the best state in the world (or country.  Whatever).  That goes without saying.  Hehe.  This lil' ensalada is one big fat brag on the Golden State.  California absolutely pops in the Autumn. The colors.  The flavors.  The colorful flavors.  Look:

My husband suggests adding thin slices of smoked or sushi-grade salmon into the salad.  I love the way that man thinks.
California Autumn-Winter Salad
Prep time: about 20 minutes 
Serves 8

1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts (whole or in pieces)
2 Tablespoons honey
1 head in-season lettuce, chopped
2 cups Napa cabbage, thinly chopped
2 cups micro sprouts
1 pomegranate
1 pear
1 apple
1 avocado
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
2 cups grated Parmesan or crumbled feta (we recommend feta)
  1. Prepare salad dressing (listed below) and let it sit while you craft the salad.
  2. Caramelize the nuts by melting butter in a pan, then add the nuts and drizzle the honey over the nuts.  Stir well.  Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare the pomegranate over a bowl of water.  Slice pomegranate, then thumb out the seeds.  The membrane will float, the seeds will sink.  Pour out membranes and water from the bowl, strain the remaining water out, leaving the seeds alone with virtually no mess for you to clean up!  See pictures below.
  4. Thinly slice the pear, apple, and avocado.
  5. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Allow each person to pour desired amount of dressing over their bowl of salad. (Keeping the dressing separate allows you to make the salad ahead of time without it getting soggy.  You can prepare the salad a couple hours before serving, stored in the fridge.)
Honey-caremelized pecans

Step 1: slice pomegranate, get bowl of water.

Step 2: Thumb out the seeds into the water.

Step 3: Membranes are floating, seeds are sinking.  Success!

Step 4: Draining the membranes and water out.

Tada!  No mess!

We like our fruit chopped like this.
    For the Dressing

    2 chives, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced (optional but recommended
    2 teaspoons dijon mustard
    2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 Tablespoons raw honey
    1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
    pepper to taste
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Combine all ingredients but oil.  Whisk dressing as you pour the oil in to incorporate it well.



    1. Not kidding....THIS was makin' my mouth water! So much going on here, it's like a salad circus! LOVE the idea of the smoked salmon!

    2. Wow, that really is some colorful flavor. Those pomegranate seeds must add such a wonderful crunch and juiciness. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    3. Katie!
      This is my first post from you since I found your fancy sour cream recipe on a different blog! I have already made the creme fresh and it is gorgeous! This salad looks so beautiful I cannot wait to fix it--thanks too for the info on pomegranate separating that looks very practical--I had stopped fixing them because of the mess--I will now! Jean

    4. Yum! This looks amazing! I will have to try it sometime :-)

    5. Oh this sounds lovely - especially with the caramelised honey pecans! And having been lucky enough to travel to California on several occasions, I have to agree, it really is a wonderful place!

    6. This sounds wonderful! I love the nuts and the pomegranates -- I will try soon! :)

    7. Im liking those avocados and pecans thanks for sharing (I love California,too)

    8. This looks like a great salad. I am making it for my lunch...yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe.
      Miz Helen

    9. This looks really tasty. can you eat the pomegranate seeds, or do you need to spit them out when the flesh is gone?

    10. {catcalls!} that is a beauty! I'm totally into salads like this right now, too...super sexy and tempting, if I do say so myself! Beautiful hearth and soul hop offering...thanks :D

    11. I went to college in CA, and I can still remember the first time I picked a pom off a tree and ate it. Ok, it was kind of small and sour, but it was such fun to eat one off the tree. This is a beautiful salad, thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

    12. Looks delicious! I'll be sure to try it :)

    13. Katie, looking at this again makes me smile all over again :) And, I really love the idea of adding smoked salmon to it! Those hubbies can come up with some great ideas. Thank you for linking up to Friday Potluck again this week :)

    14. This is one of the prettiest salads I have ever seen! Thanks for sharing it today!

    15. Oh Yum! I found you at Ekat's Kitchen's Friday Potluck and I'm glad I did! I'm with you on the feta. The salty/sweet combo of the nuts and cheese make me hungry!!
      Thanks for a great recipe.

    16. looks really greay, sounds yummy...i love to try it but i have to look for those ingredients first, we are not in california at all but in the other side of the world! wish we could have a taste of it one day! hehehe! thanks for sharing your recipe! happy weekend! :)

    17. Wow, that looks wonderful. This is definitely a perfect salad for the fall. I can't wait to try it.

    18. Made this tonight with supper. AH-MAZ-ING!!! Think I have a new favorite salad.

    19. Yummy
      This is such a nice blog. I'm a new follower, following from a blog hop.

    20. This salad looks delicious. Salmon on a salad really makes it a meal.

    21. I love the look and sound of this salad. Yum! I love pomegranites and pecans and everything. It is so beautiful too. Joni

    22. I live in California, and this looks PERFECT!

    23. Excellent color contrast,texture,and flavor. Well put together.


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