It’s GO time. There you are, standing in front of the Thanksgiving buffet table- soaking it all in, developing your strategy. Which dishes to take this round? What do I come back for? Wait, did cousin Ben really just snag that entire turkey leg?
A lot of hard work has been put into this day, and you can’t wait to dive in. Stuffing, mashers, gravy… OH MY! Then you spot a gorgeous looking salad. Bright and fresh.
My plan: I always leave a little corner of my plate for a Thanksgiving salad. Amidst the richness of the rest of the meal, it makes a tummy happy.
I’ve got 4 amazing fall salads that are a beautiful addition to your menu (or an excellent contribution to the dinner if you’re a guest this year). Assemble them in the morning, then dress and toss at serving time. And as a bonus for the host, they require NO oven space and can even sit at room temperature for an hour or two as guests arrive.
Wild Rice & Roasted Beets with Candied Pecans & Mandarin Oranges
A beautiful grain salad, bejeweled with crimson beets and sweet oranges. The wild rice is a lovely seasonal ingredient providing an earthy depth, and the pecans deliver a welcome crunch. The tangy shallot vinaigrette brings it all together.
Caramelized Roasted Carrot Salad with Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Move over sweet potatoes! Carrots are gonna elbow their way onto the table, and deservedly so. These roasted carrots get a maple-orange glaze at the end of baking, which is so YUM with the tart cranberries and crispy cheese. A zippy fall salad that’s a cinch to put together!
Rosemary Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Grapes & Hazelnuts
If you aren’t familiar with Delicata squash, don’t wait another second! This is one of my favorite winter squashes, not only for its mellow, sweet flavor, but also because it’s so easy to prep. Delicatas don’t need to be peeled (woo hoo!), and their medium size makes them easy to handle. Simply split lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and roast whole, or slice and roast as for this salad. Accompanied by some other stellar fall flavors, this is a seriously scrumptious salad!
Spinach Salad with Lentils, Oranges & Dates
Lentils’ short cooking time makes them a very approachable legume, especially when you want to add some healthy, veggie-based protein to your dish. I love using them in salads for the texture they provide, as well as their knack for soaking up flavor from the dressing. Here, they play wonderfully with the sweet dates, tart oranges, crunchy almonds, and soft spinach. This salad has it all!
No matter which of the 4 amazing fall salads you choose, your Turkey Day companions will thank you!
These look delicious! I forgot all about delicata squash!
Delicata is a favorite of mine too!