What’s Cooking: Salads for fall

Quinoa is blended with pumpkin, cranberries and celery in this colorful salad.
Quinoa is blended with pumpkin, cranberries and celery in this colorful salad. MCT

Don’t despair – you can still enjoy a nice fresh salad with your meal, even though the weather has turned cooler and the days shorter. Just don’t expect it to be tomato-lettuce-cucumber. Local tomato season is over, folks. It’s time to move on.

So what is there? You can still think green: Broccoli, celery, arugula, Brussels sprouts all can be the basis of great salad.

Also try orange: pumpkin, squash, carrots, citrus. Add some other colors with bell peppers. Stir in grains or dried beans or proteins. Use the recipes here as jumping-off points.

See, it’s still salad season.

Quinoa with pumpkin salad

Serves 6

Recipe from Adrianna Oropeza, Sierra Nut House Bistro & Wine Bar, Fresno.


2 cups quinoa

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

3 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


1/2cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste


Bring chicken broth to a boil, add quinoa and simmer until broth is absorbed. Put aside. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet on medium heat. Sauté the pumpkin for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Combine all of the remaining ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk the dressing and pour over the salad.

Arugula and fennel salad with tuna

Serves 4 (makes 8 cups)

This 5-minute, 6-ingredient salad is destined to become your go-to lunch on a busy day. The star ingredient, olive-oil-packed Italian tuna, is a bit of an indulgence but a worthy one, as one taste of the delicate, rich flesh will prove.

Use pre-washed arugula to make preparation even speedier, and feel free to use any vegetable you have on hand instead of the fennel.

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.


5 cups lightly packed baby arugula (5 ounces)

1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (preferably with a mandoline)

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, each cut in half

Two 6- or 7-ounce jars Italian olive-oil-packed tuna, preferably Tonnino brand tuna, oil reserved

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt (optional)


Combine the arugula, fennel and tomatoes in a mixing bowl.

Break up the tuna a bit with a fork to create bite-size chunks; add them to the bowl along with 2 tablespoons of oil from the tuna jars. Add the lemon juice and pepper; toss to incorporate. The saltiness of different tuna brands varies widely, so taste first, then season lightly with salt only if needed.

Divide among individual bowls; serve right away.

Per serving: 250 calories, 24 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar

Marinated butter bean-shrimp salad with a hot bacon and green tomato vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 5

This unusual salad would be just as good made with any number of bean or pea varieties. If butter beans, a.k.a. young lima beans, are not readily available, use black beans, chickpeas or lentils instead.

Note: The salad needs to sit for at least 30 minutes, or it can be covered and refrigerated up to overnight. Recipe from The Washington Post.


For the salad:

1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly with the grain

1/4 cup good-quality red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons honey

3 cups cooked butter beans or field peas (see note above)

1 cup poached/cooked small peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 cup minced celery (from 1 rib)

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

For the vinaigrette:

2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup diced green tomato (may substitute heirloom tomato)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

Pinch kosher salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper


For the salad: Combine the onion, red wine vinegar, water and honey in a mixing bowl. Add the butter beans, shrimp, celery, parsley, mint, sherry vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper flakes; stir to incorporate. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to overnight.

For the vinaigrette: Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.

Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, just until crisped. Transfer to the paper towels to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.

Add the green tomato and garlic to the bacon fat (over medium heat). Once they’ve warmed through and the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, add the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Cook just until completely warmed through, then remove from the heat.

Divide the salad among individual bowls. Spoon some of the vinaigrette over each portion. Scatter some bacon pieces on top of each one. Serve right away.

August’s charred broccoli salad

Total time: 45 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

This recipe is from the restaurant August in New Orleans.


2 oranges

1 grapefruit

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon minced shallot

1/4 cup olive oil, more to taste

2 large stalks broccoli (1 generous pound)

1 tablespoon oil


1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste

1 shallot, shaved into thin rounds

1/3 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese

Freshly grated horseradish root, for garnish


Supreme the oranges and grapefruit: Using a very sharp knife, cut off the top and the bottom of the fruit, so it will sit flat on the cutting board. Cuts away sections of the peel and pith until only fruit remains.

Working over a small bowl to catch the juice, slice the fruit into sections: Make a cut between the fruit and membrane, then do the same on the other side, freeing pure fruit. Repeat until you have removed all the fruit from the membrane.

Squeeze any juice from the remaining membrane into the bowl. You will need about 2 tablespoons juice for the vinaigrette. Set the peeled fruit segments aside to use in assembling the salad.

To make the vinaigrette: To the bowl with the juice, whisk in the vinegar, sugar, horseradish and shallot. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, emulsifying to form a vinaigrette. Taste and add 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as desired. This makes about 1 cup vinaigrette, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

To make the salad: Heat a grill over medium-high heat until hot. Peel the broccoli stalks and cut the broccoli (stalks and florets) into large, bite-sized pieces. Toss the broccoli with the oil, a pinch of salt and the chili flakes. Grill the broccoli until lightly charred and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes (the stalks will take longer to grill than the florets). Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with the orange and grapefruit segments and the shallots. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons vinaigrette, or enough to lightly coat, and gently toss it with the broccoli and citrus.

Put the broccoli salad on a platter and garnish it with crumbled cotija or feta cheese. Grate the horseradish root over the salad, garnishing with about 1 teaspoon root, or to taste. Serve immediately.

Per serving, based on 6: 134 calories; 4 g protein; 17 g carb.; 4 g fiber; 7 g fat (2 g sat.); 7 mg chol.; 9 g sugar; 168 mg sodium