Just as the crisp air and diffused light signal Autumn at its peak, so, too, does the seasonal produce. Every weekend as I peruse the local farmers' market, I mark the passage of time and the seasons. Today it was clear: Fall is in full force.
Today I procured some beautiful Fall produce at the Ecology Center's Berkeley Farmers' Market: Chioggia Beets, Swiss Chard, Shinko Asian Pears, Warren Pears, Medjool and Cire Dates, and an array of daikon (Purple Daikon, Watermelon Daikon, Black Spanish Radishes, and Dragon Tongue Radishes from Riverdog Farm). The Warren Pears pictured above (the one on the left weighing in at 1.30 pounds!) were the inspiration for an Autumn salad. My philosophy on salads is that they should always exhibit diversity in color, flavor, and texture. Since these pears are soft, juicy, and sweet, I thought they needed crunchy, tart, and savory companions.
For our Saturday dinner salad, I added:
- Cire dates for their butterscotch flavor and sultry texture;
- Pomegranate seeds for a tart crunch and vibrant color;
- Toasted pumpkin seeds for spicy crunch. To make these, I heated pumpkin seeds in a sauté pan with olive oil and hot Hungarian paprika; and
- Goat cheese rolled in crushed Trader Joe's Pita Crisps with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds.
Finally to dressPumpkin Seed Oil and freshly squeezed Mandarin Orange juice.the salad, I drizzled it with
It was Autumn in a bowl.