Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Onion Dressing
It doesn’t matter the time of year, I am always creating fun salads. This Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Onion Dressing just might be my favorite.
This also might be the prettiest salad I have ever made. The pomegranate seeds are not only a great fruity taste in this salad but they look great too!
I love salads all year long. In fact, I usually eat a salad for lunch almost every day. I love creating my own salads and I am always trying to mix them up. This Fall Harvest Salad really is my latest creation and it is amazing. And it’s perfect for Labor day!
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Fall Harvest Salad
I love salads and often fill them up with so many goodies that I serve the salad as the main entree. Of course, I also fill them up with so many goodies that the healthy aspect of having a salad might get a bit lost. Does this happen to you?
We have a cute little shop in town that is only open for breakfast and lunch and we order salads from it all of the time. I am completely obsessed with their onion jam vinaigrette. I have tried many times in many ways to get the recipe for the vinaigrette from the owner and people who work there but to no avail. So I decided to try and figure it out on my own.
Onion Jam Recipe
You might remember the onion jam recipe that I shared with you last summer. I make my onion jam for burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers. It is wonderful for so many things. If you missed the post with the onion jam and compound butter recipes, you can find it here.
I decided to use my onion jam recipe as the base for the sweet onion vinaigrette. It is really, really simple. Just beware as the onion jam can be addicting. Can you imagine onion jam on top of meatloaf or pork chops, folded into mashed potatoes? Oh my gosh, just thinking about the possibilities is making me hungry!
One of the reasons that cooking for a crowd is not intimidating to me is that I bought and devoured a cookbook years ago called Ratio. I even did a blog post about the Ratio cookbook and how once you figure out the “ratios” you can easily create your own recipes.
So I called on the techniques learned from the Ratio Cookbook to make the vinaigrette. A basic vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. In my personal opinion, the basic recipe is too oily, so my version of basic vinaigrette is equal parts oil to vinegar. In this case, I used olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Sweet Onion Dressing
This will quickly become your favorite and go-to salad dressing!
- 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 2/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
- 1 Cup Balsamic Onion Jam
- 2 Sweet Onions Diced
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- For onion jam, add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to saute pan. Over low heat, mix until sugar is dissolved.
- Add diced onions and cook covered for about 15 minutes until onions are soft and darkly colored. Set aside until ready to add to dressing.
- Whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons white sugar.
- Add 1 cup of onion jam and whisk.
- Refrigerate unused portion.
Now for the fun part, the salad! I don’t know about you, but I get very creative when making a salad.
How to Make My Fall Harvest Salad
I always start with baby greens. I love the mix of different lettuces and the variegated colors. Then I added sliced Honey Crisp apples and Marinated Grilled Chicken.
Next, I like to add edamame. I add it to every salad I make now. It doesn’t have an overpowering taste and adds so many benefits, kind of sneaky, right? Here is a fun fact, while foods that are soy-based have gluten in them, edamame is naturally gluten-free. Edamame is high in protein and rich in both vitamins and minerals. I buy them shelled and ready to eat and just sprinkle them in my salads. If you are gluten-free, make sure not to buy any ready-to-eat edamame that has flavorings added as the flavorings may contain gluten.
Asparagus is another vegetable that I love to add to salads. A quick steam and they are ready to go. I like to add a little sweet and salty component to a salad, so I mixed in roasted and salted pumpkin seeds with sugared pecans.
Finally, I added some colorful pomegranate seeds.
Once the salad is filled with all of your yummy favorites, toss with the sweet onion dressing (amount to your taste) and you have yourself a not only gorgeous but tasty and nutritious salad!
Fall Harvest Salad
- 1 Bag Baby Lettuce Mix
- 1/2 package Ready to Eat Edamame
- Two Grilled, Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary Chicken Breast, sliced
- 8 fresh asparagus, tops only
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
- 1 8 oz. package of chopped pecans
- 3 Tbl sugar
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate Seeds
- Add baby lettuce to the bottom of a large serving bowl.
- Sprinkle edamame on top of lettuce.
- If you purchased pre-cooked chicken just slice it. Otherwise, grill and slice the marinated chicken breasts. Add to bowl.
- Place the bag of chopped pecans in a skillet and add the sugar. Heat on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the pecans are coated with the melted sugar, about three minutes. Place pecans on aluminum foil and cool. Add to salad.
- Add asparagus to bowl.
- Add Honeycrisp apples to the bowl.
- Add pumpkin seeds and sugared pecans.
- Finish by sprinkling pomegranate seeds over the salad.
- Toss with the amount of salad dressing to your taste.
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Fall is the time when we start gearing up for lots of cooking between now and the end of the year. Today I have lots of great items you might need to Get Your Kitchen Ready for fall Cooking.
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Yummmmm – is it lunchtime yet?!?!
Oh yes it is!
Yum will have to try this salad. I have to laugh at your ‘create’ a fun salad. Camping a few years back I made my sister-in-law’s super simple Feta and Romaine Salad which is romaine lettuce, green onion and a green pepper (chopped) add Feta cheese and at least 2 teaspoons of dried oregano and drizzle with olive oil to moisten everything. I grabbed ‘what I thought was olive oil’ but instead it was Tequila. Everyone loved it.
This looks and sounds delicious! Can’t wait to make it!
I just want to thank you for all your wonderful recipes & ideas that you share with all
of us…Learning new recipes that are absolutely delicious is always a winner ; )
Thank you so much, I am so happy to share!
Leslie, I love all your recipes but I think I have made more of your salads than any other category. Thank you for sharing. I loooovvee Trader Joes and it helps so much to have those ready made ingredients for easy meals. You are amazing!
Thank you, you are the best!
By any chance are you speaking of Julienne’s as the cute cafe to grab a great already made salad? I found that place driving home from one of your workshops, still go there when Im up that way. Their chicken salad on rosemary bread is beyond delicious!
OMG that is just the best sandwich ever!
Your salad looks so good and the dressing sounds amazing!