salad with fruit and poppy seed vinaigrette (and how to cut a pineapple)

salad

What better way to celebrate October than with a crisp, refreshing Summer salad?!  

Back home, ’tis the season for apple picking, apple cider, apple fritters, apple pie (you get the idea), pumpkin lattes, hay bales, campfires, haunted houses, sweatshirts and glorious foliage.  Here in the South, where the leaves are brown and it’s 83 degrees in the shade, this salad makes a little more sense.

I’m not sure at what point a traditional salad with fruit becomes a savory fruit salad, but I think we crossed that bridge last night… and the results were divine.  While this would be great with some grilled chicken, we had just the fruits and vegetables in an effort to be healthier.

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (I tweaked the original recipe, as all the fruit provides (nearly) enough sweetness)
  • 2 tbsp. minced shallot
  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. poppy seeds

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the first seven ingredients and process to blend well.  With the feed tube open and the processor on, add the olive oil in a steady stream and continue processing until incorporated.  Add the poppy seeds and pulse briefly just until blended.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Salad – just use as much  of each ingredient as you wish

  • Romaine lettuce, washed and dried  (I used 2 heads)
  • strawberries, hulled and sliced (I used about 1/2 of a container)
  • blueberries (I used 1 small container)
  • Mandarin orange segments (I used 1 small can, packed in juice not syrup)
  • fresh pineapple, cubed (I used about 1/2 of a pineapple… you could used canned chunks as well)

The Greek was amazed at how I cut pineapple to look “just like it does from the cans!”.  I used to find cutting up a pineapple intimidating but have come a long way, baby.  For those of you who are like me back in the day, here’s an easy visual tutorial on how to cut up a pineapple without cutting up your hands.  Use a large, heavy chopping blade so you don’t have to use much muscle.

pinapple collage2

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