Fall is approaching and fresh salads are a must have during this cool, calm and cozy season. As you might know, there are different times of the year that produce a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in their best form. During the fall season, use what is fresh and available to you at your local markets. Ask your grocer what fruits and vegetables are in season and use those as a starting point for creating your meals. In addition to fruits and veggies in season, making a great salad during the autumn months also rely on how you combine ingredients.
The combination of different cheeses, fruits, veggies and nuts can result in a theme of flavors that are suitable for the season. Also, working with colors is another important aspect of piecing together the perfect salad. Fall is a combination of warm and rich hues that can definitely be translated into a hearty, robust salad. Use aged cheeses and hearty dressings to complete a full-flavored salad. Fall salads are heavier and heartier than summer salads that tend to be light. Next, you will be able to get started with a tasty recipe that will get you prepared for the fall season.
Swiss Chard with Pancetta and Hard-Boiled Eggs
2 bunches of Swiss chard*
salt and pepper
¼ lb pancetta or thick-sliced bacon, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Italian)
5 peeled hard-boiled eggs, 3 coarsely chopped and 2 cut length-wise
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Cut out ribs from chard leaves, chop ribs into small pieces and save leaves
• Boil ribs for 7 minutes in salted water over medium-high heat, drain with slotted spoon and set aside
• Boil leaves in same water for 5 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water
• Gently squeeze water out of leaves and then chop then coarsely, set aside
• Cook pancetta, or bacon over medium heat in a frying pan for about 5 minutes. If using bacon, drain out fat
• Add olive oil and garlic to pan and cook until garlic has browned, towel dry meat and garlic with a paper towel
• Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the same frying pan and scrape up the cooked bits into the vinegar
• Pour this into the bottom of a bowl and add another tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the bowl and mix
• Add the chard leaves and ribs, pancetta, garlic, 3 tablespoons parsley, remaining balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, mix
• Add the chopped eggs and mix
• Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining tablespoon of parsley, cayenne and egg wedges.
* Swiss chard is a leaf that is somewhat similar to spinach or even greens like mustard or turnip. The great thing about Swiss chard is that you can cook it longer than spinach and it will retain some sturdiness as well as color. If you have difficulty finding Swiss chard at your normal grocery store, try heading to a Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or any other type of organic grocery store.
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Salad, by Georgeanna Brennan