I know what you're thinking: ooh, a salad -- big whoop! Or maybe you're wondering what this side dish would go well with -- where's the beef/main event? Well, I'm here to tell you that my red meat-devouring husband wasn't just satisfied with this delicious Autumn Chopped Salad (along with a warm, hearty slice of baguette bread on the side), he was begging me for seconds. It boasts bacon and is a perfect mix of salty and sweet. And isn't it just about as pretty as an autumn wreath?
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The original recipe for Autumn Chopped Salad comes from Espresso and Cream. I like to make a few easy changes to it so that it suits my family's palate: we swap pears for apples and substitute half of the romaine lettuce for cabbage so that the salad stays super crisp for the next day's lunch. I also mentioned that my family likes its meat, so I wouldn't dream of serving this salad without a healthy amount of grilled chicken thrown into the mix. The beauty of this salad is that it's versatile. Not a fan of chicken? Use grilled pork instead. Prefer another cheese other than Feta? Go for it. This salad is simple to make, packed with flavor, and perfect for either lunch or a light dinner.
Autumn Chopped Salad
6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce or use 5 cups of romaine and 3 cups of chopped cabbage
2 medium pears or apples, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
3 grilled chicken breasts, chopped into cubes
4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Poppy seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
On a large platter or in a bowl, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (The ratio should look something like this: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette). If you prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the combination.
Happy Autumn eating!
Image Via Lisa Fogarty