The calendar is quickly moving into soup weather. I'm all for that. I love homemade soup on a chilly fall day. In fact, I made this season's first pot of Vegetable Beef Soup this past drizzly Monday.
But I also love salads all year 'round. A few weeks ago, Jill told me she'd tried an Autumn Chopped Salad from the blog, Iowa Girl Eats. (Jill's father-in-law, Alan, steered both of us toward this blog awhile back. Good advice!)
I've now made this Autumn Chopped Salad three times, including once as a side dish for a ladies' luncheon, where it got great reviews. The last time I made it, I served it as a main dish salad by adding seasoned grilled steak. Randy is glad to eat salad as long as he gets some protein to go along with it. Even though the original recipe had bacon and it provided good flavor, that's not enough protein to make it a main dish at our Kansas-beef-raising house.
Pears and apples are favorite fruits for the fall. Throw in some dried cranberries, feta cheese and, of course, that bacon, and it's a winning combination. The dressing is a blend of purchased poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinegar. Yummy - no matter the season!
Autumn Chopped Salad with Marinated Steak
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats blog6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 slices center-cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1 pear, chopped, with skin on
1 apple, chopped, with skin on
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Poppy Seed Salad Dressing (more or less)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less)
Grilled seasoned steak (about 3 ounces per person)
Cook bacon until crisp (I used the microwave.) Cool and chop. Grill seasoned steak to desired doneness. Set aside to rest.
Combine romaine lettuce, pear, apple, peanuts, dried cranberries, cooled bacon and feta cheese into a very large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinegar to taste. Toss salad dressing with salad, coating well.
For main dish salad, put dressed, chopped salad onto serving plates. Top with sliced grilled steak. Serve immediately.
This generously serves 2 for a main dish salad. As a side, it serves a big crowd.
- Even though I'm a vinegar lover, Randy is not. And we both preferred the dressing with only 1 tablespoon of the balsamic.
- Next time I make it, I might try this homemade dressing, Orange Vinaigrette, which I've used on other main dish salads.
- I've used peanuts every time, but it would be great with walnuts or pecans, too.