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Fall Harvest Salad Recipes

autumn salad recipesNothing like fall harvest salads to provide great nutrition while being a feast for the eyes: think of a colourful seasonal mix of lime green Bibb lettuce, rich golden beets and purple potatoes with a blue cheese dressing for example. Or how about a flavor packed combo of peppery arugula, tart apples and blue cheese tossed with sugar and toasted cinnamon walnuts enhanced with a maple vinaigrette.

For a quick fall lunch with friends, try some Romaine lettuce topped with rotisserie chicken, grilled peaches, crunchy pecans and goat cheese finished with champagne vinaigrette… And for the grilled bits, no need to worry: simply use a handy indoor grill!

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Seared Sesame Tuna with Mixed Greens

Seared Sesame Tuna with Mixed GreensMixed salad greens thrive in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. Perfect paired with a hearty portion of seared sesame tuna steaks, this healthy salad is easy to make yet substantial enough for a light main dish. Alternatively, it can accompany either Blackened Broccoli or a seasonal soup for a more filling meal.

Asian Dressing:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
¼ cup grape seed oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, finely minced
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, very finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Seared Tuna:
2 8-oz 2” thick tuna steaks, cut into 2” cubes
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ground ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a glass bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended. Taste and add more lime juice to brighten the flavors if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
2. Add sesame seeds and ground ginger to a large bowl; stir to combine. Add chunks of tuna to bowl and toss to coat, pressing to make sure seeds adhere to tuna.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. When hot, add coated tuna to pan and flash sear on all sides, approximately 30 seconds per side. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. To serve, add mixed greens to serving plates and top each plate with an equal portion of the seared tuna. Drizzle with dressing – or toss mixed salad greens with dressing before plating. Serve with additional soy sauce and wasabi paste.

Marinated Strip Steak Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

Marinated Strip Steak SaladSo pretty with its beautiful rich hues floating atop a bed of vibrant lime green, this hefty salad tastes every bit as wonderful as it looks. The homemade blue cheese dressing complements the flavorful steak and roasted root vegetables perfectly. Well worth the extra effort!
NOTE: This recipe incorporates our Roasted Golden Beets and Purple Potatoes recipe.
TIP: For best results, sprinkle steaks with kosher salt on both sides and place in refrigerator overnight.

Strip Steak:
2 10-oz strip steaks
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 large garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and crushed

2 small heads Bibb lettuce, base removed, leaves washed and dried
12 oz roasted golden beets and purple potatoes, cut into equal-sized small chunks
4 oz good quality blue cheese

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing:
¼ cup full fat sour cream
¼ cup The Ojai Cook Lemonaise (or mayonnaise plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ medium shallot, outer skin removed and very finely minced
2 oz chunky blue cheese
2-3 tablespoons half & half
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

1. Marinate
Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and rosemary in a non-reactive bowl large enough to hold both steaks. Add salted steaks to the bowl and turn to coat. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
TIP: Remove steaks from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to reach room temperature to ensure they cook more evenly.

2. Cook Steaks
a) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
b) Add remaining olive oil to a cast iron skillet and set burner temperature to high. Allow skillet to heat thoroughly, approximately 5 or 6 minutes, before adding steaks. Sear steaks in hot skillet approximately 2 or 3 minutes per side.
c) When steaks are evenly seared on all sides, place skillet in oven. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer reads 125 degrees for medium rare. (Actual cook time will vary by individual oven and what level of ‘doneness’ you prefer, so adjust your cooking time accordingly).
d) When done, remove steaks from oven and transfer to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. Remove cover and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Set aside.

3. Make Dressing
a) Add the first 4 ingredients to a medium glass or non-reactive bowl and stir to combine. Add the blue cheese and incorporate the cheese into the mixture, using a fork to break up the chunks.
b) Add the half & half to the bowl one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Add more half & half if you prefer a less thick dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
c) Place Bibb lettuce on 4 plates and add 1/4 of the roasted beets, potatoes and blue cheese chunks to each plate. Add sliced steak to each plate and drizzle with creamy blue cheese dressing.
d) Serve immediately with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Apple Walnut Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Apple Walnut SaladA perfectly balanced combination of peppery arugula, seasoned walnuts, tart apples, sharp blue cheese and slightly sweet maple vinaigrette ensures this substantial salad is packed with flavor. Hint: spring and fall are perfect for growing arugula from seeds planted in your garden or even in containers.

4 cup arugula, rinsed and patted dry
6 oz chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tart apples cut in half, core removed and cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 oz blue cheese crumbles
½ small red onion, cut into thin rings
Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To remove sharp taste from red onion, place the slices in a small glass bowl filled with cold water. Soak for 10-15 minutes. Remove from water and place on folded paper towels to dry.
3. In a small bowl, toss walnuts with sugar and cinnamon. Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. To make the vinaigrette, combine the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a small glass bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust other flavors as desired.
5. Add sliced apples to large glass salad bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss with your hands until well coated. Add arugula, seasoned walnuts, and blue cheese to bowl and gently toss to combine all ingredients.
6. Drizzle salad with a little vinaigrette right before serving and toss to combine.
7. Arrange salad on individual plates and top each with 2–3 red onion slices. Serve with additional dressing on the side.

Grilled Peach Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Grilled Peach SaladDon’t miss the opportunity to turn on the grill one more time and enjoy this quick, healthy fall salad before winter puts a damper on outdoor cooking. Just imagine a combination of rotisserie chicken, grilled peaches, crunchy pecans and rich, creamy goat cheese topped with the light tangy sweetness of a light champagne vinaigrette… a delightful, filling weeknight meal that can easily transition to a festive holiday table. Just be prepared for repeated requests before the season ends!

2 heads Romaine lettuce, base removed, washed and patted dry
3 medium ripe peaches, pits removed and cut into wedges
16 oz rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat
4 oz pecans, chopped
4 oz goat cheese

Champagne Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons shallot, very finely minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

1. To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the first 6 ingredients in a non-reactive glass bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
2. Clean grill grates with a wire brush and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Grill peach wedges over medium direct heat for approximately 3 minutes per side. For best results, flip wedges only once while grilling. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Tear Romaine leaves into bite-sized chunks and place on 4 serving plates. Divide grilled peaches, chicken, pecans, and goat cheese evenly among the plates. Drizzle each plate with champagne vinaigrette and serve. Or toss the salad ingredients with the dressing in a large bowl prior to arranging on plates.

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