There’s cooler air and a breeze that beckons you to grab a sweater or light jacket before you leave the house. Yep, it seems that fall is officially here. And why shouldn’t it be? We are smack dab in the middle of September and in Boston, fall is making its presence known. Like most Bostonians, I run around excitedly exclaiming, “I looove fall! It’s my favorite season!” and why shouldn’t it be? What’s not to love? It’s the perfect temperature for enjoying the perfect night’s sleep, providing a nice chill in the air that makes you want to cozy up under your blankets. And on a gorgeously sunny fall day, you almost can’t resist the urge to go apple picking. Also, can you really go wrong munching on a cider donut and sipping hot mulled cider? I think not. And, please, don’t even get me started on fall in New England when the leaves change, I could talk non-stop about how perfect that time of year is (and sometimes I do).
Ahh, it’s great to be a New Englander.
Filled up to the brim with deep admiration and anticipation for the start of this new season, I am making a vow to go out of my way to enjoy each and every aspect of this brief, yet wonderful season. That’s right SBK readers! The next couple of months will be devoted to apples, cranberries, pumpkins, cider donuts and pies, maple syrup, cinnamony things, squashes of all different shapes and sizes. Just thinking about it all makes me simply ecstatic!
Aren't red pears beautiful?
To kick off this season of seasonal favorites, I’ll start with a simple salad based upon lots of fresh fall flavors. This salad would be fantastic on its own for a healthy little lunch or if you want to beef it up a bit (sorry, bad pun) you could add some mustard rubbed pork to it. This would be a great little “take to work” salad, just put some lemon juice on the sliced pears so that they don’t turn brown before you get to eat them.
This crisp salad is made sweet by the addition of red pears and candied pecans. The goat cheese provides so a sweet and subtle tang that pairs so well with the sweetness of the pears. It is dressed simply, just with a mustard cider vinaigrette and it completed with the addition of candied pecans that give it a maple-y boost. This dish is a simple way to enjoy all of the flavors of this fall. For best results, wear a warm wooly sweater or wrap yourself in a soft blanket and enjoy with a mug of hot cider or a warm spicy tea.
Red Pear Salad with Homemade herb dressing
Full of Fall Salad with Red Pears
*Serves 2-4 people, depending on if it’s a side or meal. Or by how hungry you are..
For the salad:
-1 pear, cleaned, cored and cubed (I used a red pear here)
-1 bag Arugula
-About ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
-A giant handful of candied pecans (I just used a store-bought variety)
For the dressing:
-About ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
-About 1 tbs of honey (taste to your desired level of sweetness)
-About 1 tbs of Dijon mustard
-Fresh ground pepper
-Salt (to taste)
To make the salad, place all salad ingredients into a big bowl and gently combine with your fingers or a set of tongs. To make the dressing, put all of the contents into a small bowl and whisk together. Taste and season accordingly. Dress the salad and serve immediately.