Pear + Pumpkin Seed Salad
Yesterday was the first day of fall, and I don't have enough words to describe how happy it makes me! As much as I would love to step into my favorite season wearing a cozy sweater and my favorite boots, summer is holding on tight here in Tennessee, as the high is still in the 90's for the week. Thankfully, the subtle signs of change I've seen are giving me hope! The trees have slowly begun to turn shades of yellow and orange, the early mornings and late evenings have a refreshing crisp in the air, and pumpkins are all over the local famers markets.
I love fall produce and am excited to dive head first into all the apples, pears, and sweet potatoes that are now populating the farmer's market. Since we're not quite ready for warm soups and savory crockpot recipes, I figured I'd start enjoying some of my seasonal favorites in the form of a refreshing fall salad!
Salads are one of my favorite things to make for lunch, or a side plate, since they can be so quick and versatile! It's definitely easy to become bored with salads, which is why I love changing up ingredients frequently.
I really like pears. Not only do they add a nice consistency and natural sweetness to this salad, they're also full of immune system-supporting antioxidants and digestion-promoting fiber. I found that spiralizing the pears allows you to enjoy a little taste with each and every bite!
I have a difficult time finding salad dressings that I like from the store, so I usually try to make my own! This allows me to know exactly what ingredients are being used, and gives me full control of how sweet or savory I want my dressing to be. For this particular vinaigrette, I used olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and honey. and it went with the salad really well. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it tasted!
This is a perfect option for a side salad, and if you wanted to add a lean protein such as chicken or turkey, it could make a delicious and refreshing dinner option as well.
I hope you're as excited about the fresh seasonal produce as I am! What is your favorite thing to cook in the fall?