It's officially layering season. Time to break out the hoodies and jean jackets. I think we can all agree - layers are fabulous. There's something so comforting about throwing an oversized sweatshirt over my favorite t-shirt on a cool Fall day.🍂 Fall layering isn't necessarily exclusive to clothes though.
Some Fall layers have nothing to do with style. Cheesy pasta dishes, scrumptious dips, decadent pastries, croissants and fancy cakes - all foods with layers. 🥐What would Fall be without a gooey lasagna or a layered bean dip to snack on while watching a football game? And if you're a Shrek fan - the first thing that comes to your mind when I say layers is... onions.
Building a salad is all about creating layers of flavors. Combining different textures - the soft with the crunchy - keeps my salads interesting. Using opposing flavors, like sweet and sour like my favorite lemon vinaigrette, brings my salads to life. Layering in a some whole grains like quinoa or farro, makes my salads heartier and more satisfying. I eat a LOT of salads and layering in different flavors and textures is what keeps me going back for more. 🥗
Although this Fall salad isn't a traditional "layered salad" - it IS layered with all of my favorite Fall flavors. Roasted sweet potatoes, crisp apples, tart cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds and hearty quinoa. Tossed in a light apple cider vinaigrette - this is the taste of Fall.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 large Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
8 packed cups baby greens
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
Toss with potatoes, apples, parsley, onion, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and greens.
I didn't include this salad on my Thanksgiving menu but I'm starting to reconsider. The roasted sweet potatoes, the dried cranberries, the crisp apples, the crunchy pumpkin seeds and the quinoa all come together perfectly in this salad. And who knows, this might just be the recipe that I need to convince my kids to eat cranberries on Thanksgiving. 😂
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