Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Lighter Side Of Fall

As I am writing the northwest winds are gently pushing heavy grey clouds as we all run for shelter from the fall thunderstorm and then I woke up sweating from the hot September sun! It is hard to think of rich autumn dishes when you have to put on a hat and massive amounts of sunscreen to walk the morning open-air market. I have been playing with the bounty of fall flavors in salads! As we move out of the summer we can play with a large variety of pears, apples, citrus fruits and rich lettuces. The pairing of nuts and cheese makes them different from any other time of the year. Enjoy the lighter side of fall that goes with our Southern California climate and lifestyle. These recipes serve 6-8.

Roasted Beet Salad
1 pound beets, washed, steams trimmed 1/2 inch above beetroot
1-tablespoon horseradish
6 Sage leaves, sliced
Pinch salt and pepper
8 ozs goat cheese
Place beet in a tightly covered casserole dish. Pour enough water to cover 1/2 inch at the bottom. Roast at 350 for 2 1/2 hours. It is cooked when the skin is slightly wrinkled and removes easily with your fingers. Remove from oven and as soon as they are cool enough to touch, remove skin and cut into about 8 1/4 inch pieces. While still warm mix well with horseradish, sage, salt and pepper. Chill for at least 2 hours. Mix well again. Add the crumbled goat cheese. Mix and serve.

Crab Salad in Endive Leaves
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 sprig each oregano and thyme
1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
2/3-cup olive oil
24 ounces crabmeat, drained, picked over
6 heads Belgian endive, trimmed, separated into spears

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, oregano, thyme and old bay in a large bowl to blend. Gradually add oil. Add the crabmeat and toss gently to coat.
Arrange the endive spears on a platter. Spoon the crabmeat atop the endive spears.

Mix Baby Greens, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
6 cups mix baby greens
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
6 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar
Clove of garlic, chopped
Salt & pepper
1/4-cup Pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup Pine nuts
Place pine nuts in a skillet & toast them over a moderate heat until golden brown. Stir constantly, set aside. Place washed mix greens in a salad bowl. Whisk together oil, Dijon and pomegranate vinegar in a small bowl. Add garlic and season with salt & pepper. Drizzle over greens, toss and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pine nuts

Spinach Salad with Baked Goat Cheese, Pears and Dried Cherries
12 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1-½ cups dried cranberries
2 Medium pears, sliced
1-cup pecans, toasted
2 cups panky (Japanese bread crumbs)
1-tablespoon Coleman’s mustard powder
2 eggs
16 ounces goat cheese, sliced into 16 pieces
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 small shallot, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil + more for brushing.
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, shallot, garlic and olive oil. Add salt and pepper and set aside. In a large salad toss together baby spinach, pecans and set aside. In a bowl whisk eggs and mustard together. Place panko on a plate. Place each slice of cheese into egg mixture. Then cover thoroughly with panko. Freeze for 30 minutes until firm. Remove from the freezer and brush with olive oil. Bake in a pre-heated 450-degree oven until panko is golden brown and cheese is slightly soft. Toss the salad with dressing and place baked cheese on top and serve.

Mix Greens with pears, Gorgonzola
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
6-tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup Olive Oil
Fresh Ground pepper
Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

1 bag spinach
1 bag arugala
1 bag mache
(Or any mixture of harvest Greens)

Toss all lettuces together. Lightly toss with dressing.
3 ripe Asian pears, cored and sliced
6 ozs Gorgonzola
Arrange lettuces on platter. Place pears prettily on top and sprinkle with Gorgonzola and fresh ground pepper.

Fall Pear and Apple Salad
3 Large Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Ripe Pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
(You can mix varieties for more flavors)
1 -Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Walnuts, toasted
9 Ounces Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
6 -Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients and serve.

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