Autumn Cobb Salad

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It started out as an overcast, rainy day in the mountains, but for now the sunshine has taken over. My windows are open, a soft breeze is twirling in, and the cicadas are busy buzzing. School started back today, my nephews began kindergarten, and my seasonal d├ęcor is out. Fall feels nearer than ever, and it is absolutely delightful.

The cooler temperatures that have rolled in are so pleasant, but I admit I'm shocked August is this mild. I'll take it, though. If you've been reading the blog over the years, you know I'm smitten with autumn. It's the season I thrive in because it's full of all of my favorite things. One of those things I'm so looking forward to is cozy foods in the coming months. So I'm transitioning a little bit from fall to summer now when it comes to our dinner menu. And I'm starting with this Autumn Cobb salad and a homemade Spiced Cider Vinaigrette. Y'all, it is perfection one-thousand times over! This time of year begs for a salad this scrumptious.

p.s. if you watched my instagram stories last week, this is the recipe I was whipping up in my kitchen! 

With the summer months being hot and humid, light meals are the best way to go. I took some inspiration from this recipe to make a Cobb salad that was full of all things fall, but also perfect for the last month of summer. 

  • What You'll Need
    • For The Salad
      • Spring salad mix
      • 3/4 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
      • 3/4 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
      • Olive oil
      • Kosher salt
      • 1 cup pecans
      • 1 egg white
      • 1/3 cup sugar + cinnamon mix
      • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled 
      • 1 chicken breast, baked and sliced 
      • 1-2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
      • 1 honey crisp apple, cored and thinly sliced 
      • 3 hardboiled eggs
      • Dried cranberries
    • For The Vinaigrette
      • 2/3 cup spiced apple cider (see below for how to make this if you don't have it on hand)
      • 2 TSP dijon mustard
      • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • What You'll Do
    • For The salad
      • Peel, de-seed, and cube the butternut squash and acorn squash. Line out on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly drizzle olive oil and toss with your hands. Then sprinkle the kosher salt over top. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes.
      • To candy the pecans, whisk an egg white in a bowl, add the pecans, and the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Stir well. Spread over a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until the sugar looks crackled and hardened on top.
      • To prepare the salad, lay out the spring salad greens on the bottom of the plate. Make rows of the ingredients: squashes, bacon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, dried cranberries, candied pecans, and apple. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve right away. 
    • For The Vinaigrette
      • Whisk together the spiced apple cider, dijon mustard, and vegetable oil. Chill in the fridge unit you're ready to serve. Shake well when you are ready to use.

**Some notes for this salad. 

**It is certainly easy to make your own changes, substitute one ingredient for another, etc. I did various changes from my inspiration recipe to better fit my food preferences. 

**If you don't have spiced cider on hand, like myself, you can easily whip some up! If you're making your own. Use one cup of apple juice, a few shakes of cinnamon, a dash of ginger and nutmeg, and about 15 whole cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the whole cloves out, and your liquid will have reduced to 2/3 cup. 

**You can make the candied pecans ahead of time and store them in a ziplock bag in the pantry for a couple of weeks. 

It's as tasty as it is pretty, and as light as it filling. Such a good dish for August and the months ahead. If you give it a try, be sure to tell me your thoughts or how you tweaked it to make it your own!! I hope you enjoy :)

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