Photo Courtesy of Richard Swearinger, BHG Food Editor Extraordinaire
I love my job. Honestly, if I didn't there would be something seriously wrong with me. To be surrounded by delicious food and stimulating people day after day is a blessing in the utmost sense of the word.
Last night was no exception.
Once a year, the food editors at my parent company get together for a round of meetings and good eats. And for the second time in a row, we have made it a tradition to go potluck-style instead of dining out. Since we have a huge test kitchen, it works out well and is much more interesting than ordering off a restaurant menu.
When food editors gather, it seems a shame not to tap into the talent and creativity, no?
The recipe I made for our potluck is the ultimate in easy and delicious. It's actually a version of a salad that was passed down to me from my mom-queen of salad and all things healthy and delectable. In fact, it's one of the only vegetables my uncles and cousins actually seem to enjoy at family gatherings. Not just enjoy. Wolf down and ask for more, to be exact.
I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner for the sole purpose of eating a salad similar to this. But of course, like all things my mom does, it will taste better when she makes it than when I do.
Autumn Chopped Salad
*6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
*2 medium pears, chopped
*1 cup dried cranberries
*1 cup chopped pecans
*8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
*4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*Poppy seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
*Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)
*On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) If you prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the combination.