Sometimes a salad is just what I crave for lunch on a crisp fall day. It’s filling enough to keep me going until dinner, but light enough that it doesn’t weigh me down so I can keep going with my busy schedule. Salads are easy enough to pull together using whatever lettuce, fruits and veggies you have on hand. Adding a bit of protein, like I’ve done here using sliced hard-boiled eggs, gives it an extra boost. And having this delicious fall-inspired dressing in the fridge means that it’s ready when you are! Shake it all up in a mason jar and you can use it to dress salads all week long. Plus, the mason jar makes it really easy to transport if you’re bringing this salad to a fall potluck or harvest picnic!
For the salad, I layered the following ingredients in a large bowl. Keeping the dressing on the side allows you to save the leftovers without having soggy lettuce. Boo-hoo to soggy lettuce!
- Baby spinach leaves
- Sliced pears with the skin left on
- Sliced hard-boiled eggs
- Chopped, toasted pecans (I toast them in a dry skillet just until fragrant, then chop them)
- Sliced red onion
- Dried cranberries would be lovely, too, for added texture and color
Here’s my recipe for the yummiest fall dressing! I love to make my own dressing whenever I can because I know what’s going in there! No gluten, hidden junk or chemical preservatives; just plain and simple, homemade goodness.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use good quality)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Juice of half a small lemon
- A couple strips of lemon peel (no pith)
- 3-4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
- Black pepper
- Step 1 In the bottom of a small mason jar, place the chopped sage leaves and lemon peel.
- Step 2 Add the maple syrup, vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Step 3 Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 4 Screw the lid onto the jar, ensuring it’s on tightly. Shake the jar until all of the ingredients are combined and the oil is emulsified.
- Step 5 Use right away or keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The vinegar and lemon juice will preserve the dressing while in the fridge.
- Step 6 Note: The oil will solidify in the fridge, leaving a pale yellow “cap” sitting on top of the dressing. This is normal. When ready to use the dressing, remove it from the fridge and allow the olive oil to soften at room temperature so it can be shaken and emulsified again.