Simple Autumn Salad with Pumpkin, Pecans and Cranberries
On Saturday night, it finally happened. I was standing at the bus stop, waiting for the bus that would carry me home after an 11-hour shift at the shop working on a large, last-minute order. My back and feet were aching, but a strange feeling of lightness settled over me. I should feel worse than I do, I thought to myself. Just then a cool breeze kicked up and brushed past, carrying some of my exhaustion with it. While the days are still holding strong, in the evening, it’s impossible to ignore — fall is really here.
In honor of that mixture of warmer days with a little taste of autumn at night, I wanted to dress up my salads a little this week with a preview of what’s to come. This salad features honey roasted pumpkin, pecans, cranberries and a very, very simple and easy-to-make honey dijon dressing.
It comes together very quickly, once you have the pumpkin roasted, and even that isn’t very hands on. This is a busy time of year for me as a baker, so much so that I don’t really get to do a lot of the low-and-slow fall cooking I used to dedicate my weekends to, but that’s okay, because where there’s a will, there’s a way, and this salad has been a nice compromise.
Like all salads, it is highly customizable and would be just as good with any number of greens, I think. I used what I had on hand, which was romaine, red dandelion greens and a variety of baby greens. I think spinach would also be good, as its hearty enough to stand up to the other earthy ingredients. The honey dijon dressing also works as a stand-alone recipe and comes together in less than five minutes.
I hope you all are enjoying the same little jolt of energy I am with these cooler days that have not yet turned from energy-sapping heat to energy-sapping cold. And I hope you can make good use of this simple little recipe that celebrates fall in a lighter way. Take care, and I’ll see y’all again on Thursday.
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Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.