On Sunday the clocks went back an hour in Europe. I like fall, but I'm still getting used to darkness at 5pm. I never eat before 7pm, so I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I'm going to have horrible, blurry, unnaturally lit food photos until March. Oh well.
Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was salads.
Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to give up interesting salads until spring rolls around. No. Fall salads are just as fun and flavourful as summer salads. And no, I'm not talking about cabbage and potato salads! There are so many wonderful fall fruits and vegetables that are just begging to be put into salads....apples, pears, cranberries, squash, chicory, pomegranates, citrus....
Anyway, for dinner tonight I had a tasty and colourful salad of mache, pears, and chickpeas with a pomegranate-green olive dressing. Yummy. I used mache because it's ridiculously cheap in Germany, but red leaf lettuce works beautifully too.
This combination of vegetables also works really well with dried cranberries and a balsamic vinaigrette.
I don't believe in measuring vegetables for salads, so I'll just give you approximations, because you should be experimenting with festive fall salads, too!
Mache, Pear and Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate-Green Olive Dressing
Mache - several large handfuls per person
Chickpeas - about 1 cup cooked chickpeas per person
Green olives with pimento - 10-12 olives per person
Pear - one small pear per person
Other vegetables as desired - I used cucumber because I had to use some up
Pomegranate Dressing (recipe follows)
First things first: wash and dry the mache. Peel, core, and slice the pear. Slice the olives, red onion, and other vegetables, if using. In a large bowl toss the mache (only!) with most of the dressing. Put the dressed salad on dinner plates. Spread the chickpeas over the middle of the salad. Arrange the other ingredients on top, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Enjoy!
Pomegranate-Green Olive Dressing
pomegranate molasses - about 2 tbsp
juice from the green olives - about 3 tbsp
water - about 2 tbsp
olive oil - about 2 tbsp
Mix all ingredients, adjusting to taste. You could also use unsweetened pomegranate juice instead of the pomegranate molasses and water.