By Southern Living, on Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:14am PDT
Tender greens and bold dressings pair the best of summer with the first crisp tastes of fall for a colorful collection of salads.
Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 lb. fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.
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Grilled Sweet Potato-Poblano Salad
Vegetable cooking spray
2 1/2 lbs. small sweet potatoes
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 (5 oz.) package fresh mâche
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup shelled roasted pumpkin seeds
Whisk together 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, 2 Tbsp. minced sweet onion, 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp. honey, 2 tsp. orange zest, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, and 1/2 tsp. salt; add 1/2 cup canola oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.
Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat.
Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Bring potatoes and water to cover to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Coat potatoes with cooking spray.
Grill potatoes, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Gently toss warm potatoes with poblano and Cilantro Vinaigrette. Arrange mâche on a serving platter, and sprinkle with queso fresco and cranberries. Top with sweet potato mixture, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
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2 mangoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 1/2 cups halved, seeded, and sliced English cucumber
1 1/2 cups halved baby heirloom tomatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Fresh Lime Vinaigrette
4 cups arugula
Fresh Lime Vinaigrette
Whisk together 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. ground pepper. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup canola oil until smooth.
Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; cover and chill 2 hours. Toss with arugula just before serving.
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Cobb Potato Salad
1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 (11.5-oz.) bottle refrigerated blue cheese vinaigrette, divided
2 large avocados
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
6 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Toss potatoes with green onions and 1/3 cup vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.
Peel and chop avocados; toss with lemon juice. Toss lettuce with avocado mixture, tomatoes, and next 2 ingredients. Arrange lettuce mixture on a large serving platter; top with potato mixture, and sprinkle with bacon. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
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Grilled Pear Salad
3 firm ripe Bartlett pears, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 (10-oz.) jar seedless raspberry preserves
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned pepper
1/3 cup canola oil
1 (5-oz.) package gourmet mixed salad greens
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh raspberries
3/4 cup honey-roasted cashews
4 oz. crumbled coat cheese
Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Grill pear wedges, covered with grill lid, 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
Whisk together red wine vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl; add canola oil in a slow, stead stream, whisking constantly until smooth.
Combine salad greens, next 4 ingredients, and pears in a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette, and toss to combine. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette.
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Melon and Plum Salad
4 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
4 cups honeydew melon balls
3 red plums, sliced
2 cups torn watercress
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
Whisk together 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup hot jalapeño pepper jelly, 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint, 1 Tbsp. grated onion, and 1 Tbsp. lime juice. Gradually add 1/4 cup canola oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until smooth.
Gently toss together first 5 ingredients, and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper to taste.