Autumn Salad with Maple Bourbon Dressing

It's the middle of November and that means it's time to plot and plan for Thanksgiving. And while this year is likely to be different than year's past (please keep it small and keep it at home), there's still an opportunity to share good food together and be grateful for what we have. My own family will be having several zoom calls with close friends and family on and around the day, but dinner will be for the three of us (four, if you count the dog - which we do!). So I'll be sharing a few ideas for a festive, if smaller, Thanksgiving meal over the next week. Let's begin with salad.

This is a salad I could have as lunch nearly every day. The combination of flavors and textures absolutely makes my heart sing! Fresh and dried fruit combined with glazed nuts (or other kinds as you see fit) and tangy goat cheese make this a tantalizing way to start a festive feast. Then make a vinegar-based dressing boasting both maple syrup and bourbon and you are setting yourself up for a stunning salad and many more since there will be leftover dressing to enjoy on other salads or even drizzled over your favorite roasted vegetables.

While I'm offering this salad as a component to a Thanksgiving feast, it will play an excellent supporting role to any autumn menu and I turn to it often when putting together my fall menus. After all, getting lots of fruits and veggies is a great way to help fuel our bodies and support healthy lives. Now there's something to be grateful for!

Autumn Salad with Maple Bourbon Dressing

  • 4-5 c. chopped or torn greens
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped - I used honeycrisp
  • ½ c. dried cranberries
  • ½ c. coarsely chopped nuts - I used praline pecans
  • ½ c. crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. bourbon
  • 1 T. grainy mustard
  • Pinch salt and pepper

In a large serving bowl, combine the greens, apple, cranberries, nuts, and goat cheese; set aside.

In a resealable jar, combine the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad before serving. There will be leftover dressing - use it on other salads or roasted vegetables.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes