When I saw that this week’s Fall Fest topic was calling for Fall Salads, I knew exactly the recipe to contribute. This Bleu Cheese and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing has been in our Fall rotation (and really, all the other seasons too), for a few years, and the first time I heard about it was when someone on the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards dubbed it “heaven on a plate.” He was not too far off! I mentioned it to a friend of mine today and was promptly met by a chorus of “ewwws,” along with a very polite no thank you. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.
The maple flavor definitely screams Fall, and with the addition of crumbled bleu cheese and some candied walnuts, it’s a wonderful salad that you can throw together in minutes, and I bet you have the dressing ingredients right in your cupboard now. With dressing recipes like these, you can just skip that bottled salad dressing aisle in your local grocery store. It’s pretty enough to use when you’re entertaining company, and simple enough that you can have it on a crazy sports-scheduled weeknight when time is short.
This Honey-Cinnamon Vinaigrette recipe from last week would be another wonderful Fall salad alternative. Need more Fall Salad flavor options? Go on and take a look at what my fellow Fall Festers are serving up tonight (more to come tomorrow):
- Gilded Fork: Red & White Salad with Candied Pecans, Figs & Chevre
- Margaret at A Way to Garden: Why Beets Make the Salad
- Caroline at the Wright Recipes: Salt-Roasted Beet and Potato Salad
- Michelle at Cooking Channel: 5 Fab Fall Salads
- Liz at Healthy Eats: 5 Favorite Fall Salads
- Alison at Food2: Fall Salads, Deconstructed
- Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: Kale Salad
- Todd and Diane at White on Rice Couple: Arugula, Bacon and Fig Salad
- Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Wheat Berry Salad with Apples and Pomegranate Seeds
- Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Spinach Pomegranate Salad with Apples and Walnuts
- Paige at The Sister Project: Chopped Salad That’s Also an Hors D’Ouevre
With six kids crowded around the dining room table tonight, I just may need to lug the leaf and extra chairs up from the basement. The salad? Kid-approved. Even by the littlest at the head of the table.
A year ago today… the end of Gourmet magazine.
Two years ago today … glittered skulls and a menu plan (those were the days!).
Three years ago today … an OMG recipe from The Neighbor Husband.
Four years ago today … comfort food at its best.
Five years ago today …a picture of Nick and The Girlfriend at our first dinner together, and a bittersweet memory.
Bleu Cheese and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.
1 10 oz. package of baby spinach
1/3 lb bleu cheese, crumbled
6 oz. walnut halves, toasted if desired (I used candied walnuts)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Place spinach on a large platter. Top with bleu cheese and walnuts. Warm maple syrup in a small saucepan. (I nuked in microwave) Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Whisk oil into the vinegar in a slow stream. Whisk maple syrup into dressing in a slow stream. Pour dressing over the salad platter and toss. Season with salt and pepper.