Fall Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
With winter just around the corner, I am sort of thinking I should have chosen a different name for this salad! This is the perfect recipe to get through the cold months when fresh produce is not abundant. It is also a worthy counterbalance to the excesses of the holidays…like all that Oreo Bark!
Loving salads as I do, it would be nearly impossible to choose a favorite. If pressed, however, this recipe might take the honors. It has been a staple in our house since I enjoyed a similar salad at a friend’s house years ago.
Once the dressing is mixed, this delicious fall side can be pulled together in minutes. The dressing can be made ahead, will last for several weeks in the refrigerator, and will provide enough to dress multiple salads.
My kids don’t care for Swiss cheese but, in this salad, they never seem to notice. The flavor subtly enhances the salad without overpowering it. If you don’t have Swiss cheese on hand, however, the salad is still delicious without. When fresh cranberries are available, I occasionally use them instead of the dried version. Their tart crunch is a nice counterpoint to the slightly sweet dressing.
To make this salad ahead without the apples and pears turning brown, place the chopped fruit in the bottom of your salad bowl and toss with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. Add the lettuce and the remaining ingredients, without tossing, then cover and refrigerate. When ready to eat, simply toss and drizzle with more dressing if needed. I have prepared this salad several hours before serving time and the lemon juice in the dressing keeps the fruit crisp and bright.
You may use the recipe as a framework, adding more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste. Typically, I use a tart apple like a Granny Smith, but feel free to choose your favorite.
- 1 apple, diced or thinly sliced
- 1 pear, diced or thinly sliced
- ½ cup cashews
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped or slivered
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 head romaine lettuce, 5 ounces baby spinach or a mix of your favorite greens
- ½ cup Swiss cheese, grated (additional for garnish, if desired)
- LEMON POPPYSEED DRESSING:
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canola or grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and whisk or shake well to emulsify.
- In a large bowl, toss the salad ingredients with the poppy seed dressing. Grate additional cheese over top, if desired.
- Refrigerate unused portion of the salad dressing. This will be enough dressing for several salads.
This recipe was shared with Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen.