Sunday, October 11, 2015

Savoring Fall

Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola, Pear and Pomegranates
drizzled with Pear Citrus Vinaigrette
Pear slices, cucumbers, toasted walnuts, Gorgonzola crumbles and pomegranate seeds liven up a simple spinach salad.  Don't skip step toasting pecans as lightly toasting them brings out their flavor. Use ripe pears for this recipe. When in doubt at the grocery store buy pears a little less ripe. Place in a paper bag for a day or two to ripen.
Salad Ingredients:
  • 1/2 bag small baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Bosc or Anjou pear skinned and diced
  • cheese crumbles, Blue Cheese, Feta, Goat, Gorgonzola
  • toasted pecans
  • pomegranate seeds or fresh raspberries 
  • sliced cucumbers or avocados
Pear Citrus Vinaigrette
Cook's notes: A wonderful sweet and zesty salad dressing featuring pears, juice of an orange and fresh basil. This dressing goes well with a salad that features crumbles of blue cheese, feta or goat, pears and toasted pecans or walnuts. Making your own dressing would be my first choice as it is healthier but running a close second is a healthy dressing  from Traders Joes called Champagne Pear Vinaigrette (2 TB. = 45 calories).    
Recipe from thepescetarianandthepig.com
Serves: 2
Dressing Ingredients

  • ½ ripe Bosc or Anjou pear, peeled and cut into chunks 
  • 1/4 cup juice from ½ small orange (such as a tangelo or valencia orange)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. minced shallot
  • 1 TB. extra virgin olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 1 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • toasted pecans
  • fresh ground black pepper

Dressing Directions:
  • In a blender, food processor, or Magic Bullet, mix all ingredient together until frothy.
  • Serve over salad.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Savoring Fall With An Autumn Poem 
Autumn Drew Its Bed-Time Bath
by Lea Johnstone
poem from book "Autumn Drew Its Bed-Time Bath 
Poems and Paintings of Minnesota"
reprinted by permission from author

Autumn drew its bed-time bath
With colors of every hue
And soaked its aching twigs and limbs
In bubbles of reds and orange and cerulean blue

But winter came and pulled the plug
And all the colors washed down the drain
The reds and orange and cerulean blue
But left the palest of icy rain

A stretch and a yawn from November sleet
Dressed jammies on bare little limbs
Flurries nestled between clean white sheets
While Jack Frost tucked the blankets in

Snowflakes coated meadow lands
In shades of milk and cream
And slowly closed the sleepy eyes
Of a weary wandering stream

North winds whispered a love you lullaby
With all the notes their lips could sing
Orion read a bed-time story
Then it's off to sleep till spring 

The fall colors in this photo reminded me of this poem's first stanza especially the cerulean blue lake. Lea's use of metaphors throughout the poem help create wonderful seasonal imagery.
Did you know that cerulean blue is America's second favorite crayola crayon?

Meet the author

Lea Johnstone (Northwoods Art and Book Festival 2013)

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