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I know I’ve sad it before, but the weather really effects what I feel like eating: I only enjoy Chinese food when it rains. I go through lemons like crazy in the spring. And it’s very rare to see me eating salad on a day that isn’t sunny and warm.

So when Fresh Express issued a challenge to bloggers to create a salad for a chance to win airfare and accommodations to this year’s Foodbuzz Festival, I was perplexed. But I had so much fun last year, and I really want to go again, so I gave it some thought.

Like a lot of other food bloggers, I tend to go pumpkin-crazy this time of year. But there are so many other great, seasonal flavors! Like fresh figs, which are probably my favorite food on the entire planet. And roasted beets, whose earthy-sweetness seems right at home in the fall and winter but out-of-place the rest of the year.

I wan’t sure how these two ingredients would pair together, but I figured it was worth a shot and set out to create a salad that bridges the late summer and early fall harvest seasons. With cinnamon-pecans to add the warm flavors that I crave this time of year, prosciutto to add porkiness, and creamy goat cheese to tie everything together, this is a salad that I’ll happily eat, rain or shine, all autumn long.

(Yes, I find it somewhat ironic that I used Spring Mix in a fall-themed salad. But I’m picky about my salad greens, and that’s what I like. As for a review of Fresh Express…. well, it’s lettuce. I don’t have any complaints and I’d have no problems buying it if that’s what the store I happen to be at carries. I’m not about to make a special trip for it or anything though.)

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Harvest Salad with Cinnamon Pecans

  • 1 bag Fresh Express Spring Mix
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 roasted beets, chopped (wrap in foil and roast at 400 for 90 minutes. Let cool, then peel.)
  • 5 Fresh figs, quartered, gently warmed under the broiler for a minute
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon pecans (see below)
  • 8 pieces thinly-sliced proscuitto (optional)

Divide spring mix between four bowls. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette. Top with remaining ingredients.

Serves 4.

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Cinnamon Pecans

  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1/4 c pecan halves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 450. Toss pecans in butter and cinnamon. Roast for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

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Disclosure: Fresh Express provided me with coupons for free salad mix. I was not obligated to write about it, and all opinions given above are my own. By writing this post, I am entering myself to win airfare and accommodations to the Foodbuzz Festival.