Fall is my favorite season! Partially because it’s associated with all the comfort food. By comfort food, I mean rich, creamy, indulgent, straight up COMFORT. Before you know it, all that comfort can lead to a vicious struggle with the top button of your jeans by wintertime. Which is why you should wear spandex yoga pants year round. Kidding! (not really). I have another solution.
Most people don’t think of salads when it comes to comfort because but I’m telling you, fall is where it’s at! All the great veggies come out from hiding and surprisingly enough many can be so very satisfying. Especially during Thanksgiving when it’s literally carb central and all you want is something “so fresh and so clean, clean” to bring some color and life to your spread.
If this salad doesn’t scream fall to you then you may need to check yourself at the door. Roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate jewels, persimmons, and toasted pecans over a bed of fresh arugula. To make life even better, I topped it off with some whipped honey ricotta and a drizzle of my homemade savory pumpkin vinaigrette! Because nothing fall-ish can be complete with pumpkin right?
As for the vinaigrette, you are probably thinking sweet right? Nope! I may be pretty sweet but I like to make everything in life savory, including this dressing. Lots of garlic and spice. The key to anything in life. You are going to love it!
- Salad Ingredients:
- I bag arugula
- 2 sliced persimmons
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- 2 roasted sweet potatoes, chopped
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- honey, to taste
- Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs maple syrup
- 2 Tbs water
- 1 tsp spicy mustard
- 2 - 3 large cloves garlic
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Add arugula to a wide bowl, creating a bed of greens.
- Sprinkle roasted sweet potato pieces, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans evenly across arugula.
- Add ricotta cheese to a small bowl and add a small amount of honey to your desired taste. I usually start with a hearty drizzle and then add more as I go if needed. Add more ricotta if it gets too sweet.
- Whip ricotta-honey mixture by hand until honey is fully blended.
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and blend until fully smooth.
- Spoon whipped ricotta mixture into center of salad.
- Place sliced persimmons around whipped ricotta.
- Drizzle a small amount of pumpkin vinaigrette over salad or serve it on the side for your guests to add their own desired amount.
- Serve immediately.