It’s that glorious part of the year when the seasons are changing. I especially like the fall season, because that means that Halloween is right around the corner, and we get to eat meals that are hearty and stick-to-your-ribs good!
Soups, stews, chili, all of which are comforting and warm are itching to be made for that first really chilly day when you know that the warmer days of summer are no more. While we’re not quite out of the summer heat here in Southern California, we have our days where we are getting chills in the air, and have to snuggle up with plenty of blankets in the evening.
A perfect dish for this kind of weather is the Winter Waldorf Salad that I threw together recently. It’s refreshing, yet hearty – perfect for an almost balmy day where the leaves on the trees are brown and crispy, but haven’t yet fallen.
It’s my take on a regular Waldorf Salad that normally has apples and walnuts. We swap out the apples for pluots, and trade in the walnuts for a richer pecan. Chicken bumps up the protein element, making for a well-rounded meal. The result is a spectacular salad that will leave you satisfied, and ready to conquer Halloween preparations!
Have you guessed that Halloween is my favorite holiday yet? If you haven’t, then hop on the bandwagon, buddy! Pumpkins and spiders and skulls, oh my!
It’s important to get the chicken started before you do anything else, because it needs time to rest and cool down a bit before adding to the veggies and fruits. While the chicken is in the oven, get your knives ready, because we’re going to be chopping for awhile! Make sure all the produce is washed and ready to go, then start chopping everything to about a 1/4″ dice, tossing in a large bowl as you go.
Once the produce is chopped, add in your chopped pecans, feta cheese, and diced chicken. Mix the mayonnaise, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth, then add to the diced goodness. Toss to coat, and serve on a bed of lettuce.
It’s great just by itself too, or you could make little appetizers by placing a tablespoon (or two) of the mixture on a nice cracker.
Ideally you should let the mixture chill for about an hour or overnight, but if you’re anything like me, waiting is not an option! Just make sure the rest makes it to the fridge soon because of the mayo. We don’t want any sickness messing with our Halloween plans, now do we?
What is your favorite fall dish? Halloween decoration?
Winter Waldorf Salad
1½ C. Diced Pluots
1 C. Diced Celery
½ C. Feta Cheese
½ C. Pecans, coarsely chopped
¼ C. Parsley, chopped
2 Cooked Chicken breasts, diced (about 2 cups)
½ C. Mayonnaise
2 T. Honey
½ Lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine pluots, celery, cheese, pecans, parsley, and chicken in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise, honey, and lemon in a smaller bowl, and stir until smooth. Add the dressing to the larger bowl, and toss to combine. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour before serving on a bed of lettuce, or on a nice cracker as an appetizer.