In the last two weeks, my taste buds have taken on a slight preference for comfort foods. But leafy green salads are still very high on my priority list. I crave salads all year long, not just in the warmer months. Especially when they’re filled with local, seasonal ingredients.
This Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears is my current obsession. It incorporates so many of my favorite Fall flavors, like fresh apple cider and maple syrup. And it highlights what I consider to be one of the most underappreciated Fall fruits: pears.
Pears always seem like they are playing second fiddle to apples. I mean, I love apples. Who doesn’t!?!? And admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of an apple spree myself these days. But pears deserve to be taken seriously once in a while, too. So I always make it a point to give them the spotlight in a couple different recipes over the course of their season.
For the base of this salad, I used tender, baby kale. But you could use whatever greens you love (baby spinach would be excellent!). I added in red grapes, pecans and blue cheese crumbles. But the real showstopper in this recipe is the sautéed pears. Slightly softened, flavored with both apple cider and maple syrup, and so gosh darn pretty that it seems like a shame to chop them up, they are the perfect topper for all your leafy green bowls this Fall.
Choose pears (I used Bartlett pears for this recipe) that are ripe, but still a bit firm when pressed. Because you don’t want them getting too soft and mushy when you cook them. That would be no bueno.
What are your favorite ways to use pears this time of year? I would love to hear your ideas!
I’m currently experiencing some post-Labor Day Weekend blues. It’s really starting to sink into my brain that Summer is wrapping up. And frankly, I’m not ready for that to happen.
I still have so much ice cream to eat!!!
Luckily, there is still an abundance of late Summer produce to be enjoyed. And that’s helping to elevate my mood. I know people are going crazy for pumpkin-everything right now. But here in New England, early September is one of the best times for local produce like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, corn and more! So I’m diving headfirst into all of these things.
Last week, I found the most precious baby eggplants at the farmer’s market and I knew instantly that I wanted them to become the focus of my September Eat Seasonal recipe post. So I grilled them up and served them on top of a creamy bed of goat cheese polenta. And then I finished off the dish with some homemade basil pesto and a handful of sliced plum tomatoes. It’s a recipe that totally celebrates Summer. But also has a bit of a “cozy” feel, too. In the past, I’ve treated polenta as one of those food items that I only make and eat during the cooler months. But now, I’m really digging this version with its Summery spin! And I can see myself using it more frequently in my kitchen throughout the entire year.
The other great thing about this recipe for Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese Polenta and Basil Pesto is that – for such a hearty dish – it’s relatively fast to prepare. You can have everything done in just about 30 minutes. Which is always a win in my book!
For more September cooking inspiration, check out my friend Becky’s monthly produce guide, which is filled with tons of great recipe suggestions and tips. I hope it will help make your transition into Fall a little bit easier. And if you make any of our #eatseasonal recipes, give us a shout out on social media. We would love to hear about it!
September Eat Seasonal Recipes
Small Batch Cherry Tomato Jam by Flavor the Moments
Hazelnut Zucchini Bread by Vintage Mixer
Balsamic Sausage Tortellini Bake by JoyFoodSunshine
Baked Enchilada Style Veggie Burritos by She Likes Food
Peach and Tomato Salsa with Pan Seared Tofu by Letty’s Kitchen