Autumn Chopped Salad

October is here! The weather seems to be recognizing that the season has changed, and I am pulling out the seasonal decorations, can’t believe it is that time of year already!

This also means I am feeling a bit of a time crunch in terms of my pregnancy and having everything ready before the holidays completely overwhelm us. You never realize how much stuff you accumulate until you try to condense it down into one room to open up another room for a whole new person to collect their own stuff! Clearing out and organizing has taken over our life and house here lately. Most of my free time is spent sorting through boxes (some of which I don’t think we’ve dealt with since moving in 4 years ago) and trying to turn our former guest room into a guest/office combo. That sounded really easy when we started, just moving stuff around, right? Okay, not really, truly one of those easier said than done situations!

I am glad we got this little push to get moving, because really, the closet in the former office was a bit out of control. And hopefully, all crossables crossed, we will be painting the baby’s room this weekend. And getting her dresser stripped and painted as well. As long as this cooler weather holds out, we shouldn’t have any issues getting it done!

And in between all that work, I may be eating this salad again. And again. It is  the perfect salad for the season. I even mentioned it as a side dish for Thanksgiving to my husband and he thought that was a good idea. And we may like salad around here, but most times at Thanksgiving, we are focused on all the carbs. And turkey. Not so much a salad!

This was dinner for us Sunday night, and then lunch yesterday and today. And I am not at all tired of eating it. besides the romaine, you’ve got a little goat cheese, pecans, bacon, dried cranberries and pears.

And oh, the pears. I am stuck on them right now! These are bosc pears and they are seriously so perfectly ripe without being mushy, which is a delicate balance for pears. They are a finicky little fruit at times. But I tell you, against the cranberries and goat cheese, pears are perfect.

And the dressing on top couldn’t be easier or better suited to the salad. It is a combo of a balsamic and poppy seed dressing. I won’t lie, I was considering just going with the poppy seed alone on top, but went ahead and mixed in some balsamic. It was SO good. The balsamic added just a bit more depth, taking this salad over the top.

In all honesty, the ratios you use can totally be your own, I “followed” the recipe I found for this to the point that I kept the ingredients the same, but the amounts were all mine. Don’t want too many cranberries or pecans? You can decrease them. Rather have turkey bacon? Go for it! Trust me on this though, you don’t want to skip bacon completely, the salt it lends is completely needed to balance this whole salad out.

Welcome to Fall everyone!

Autumn Chopped Salad

Adapted from Espresso and Cream

Serves 6-8 as a main dish, 10-12 as a side

3 hearts of romaine, chopped
3 pears, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 pound bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup your favorite balsamic dressing
2/3 cup your favorite poppy seed dressing

Combine everything except the two salad dressing in a large bowl and toss to combine. In a small jar, combine the two dressing and shake well to combine. Serve the salad with dressing on the side. Crusty bread highly recommended.

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