November – Harvest Salad

November – Harvest Salad

This salad takes full advantage of the wonderful and colorful autumn produce available right now. You combine roast sweet potato and cauliflower, apple, toasted nuts, a grain (your choice), with a lemony dressing full of fresh parsley. Serve it warm, room temperature, or cold. The dish is both vegetarian and vegan, gluten free if you use brown rice as the grain. I served it as a side with a roast chicken, and it would be delicious as a one bowl vegetarian meal, poached eggs optional.

I mixed leftovers into scrambled eggs the next morning in a delicious scramble for brunch.

Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad

It’s pretty enough to serve as a side for Thanksgiving. Make it ahead, bring to room temperature and toss with the dressing just before serving. This recipe will serve 4-6 but can be easily doubled or tripled.

Harvest Salad

  • 1 cup of brown rice, farro, or another whole grain
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A sprinkle of dried spices, or a few sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano or rosemary
  • 1 large apple
  • A handful of toasted nuts, pecans or walnuts

Lemon/Parsley Dressing

  • 1 bunch of parsley, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Rinse your grain of choice (I used farro) and cook with the appropriate amount of water or broth. Refer to the cooking directions on the package as each is different. Once cooked drain, if appropriate, and cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the cauliflower and sweet potato on separate large baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the pieces to brown the other side and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Spread the nuts out on a small roasting sheet and toast for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn, remove and cool.
  4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and shake to combine.
  5. Chop the apple (you do not need to peel), and set aside.
  6. When the vegetables and grains are done, combine together with the apple in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and nuts just before serving. Taste for salt and pepper.


Autumn salad

Autumn salad

Roast sweet potato and cauliflower salad

Roast sweet potato and cauliflower salad


I’m taking this to Fiesta Friday #95, hosted by Angie of the Novice Gardener. This week it is co-hosted by Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Petra @ Food Eat Love. Come and visit with us to see all the wonderful dishes being brought by the fabulous cooks at the party.



The basic recipe came from the blog Pinch of Yum where it is called “Autumn Glow Salad with Lemon Dressing”.

November in the kitchen – everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad

November in the kitchen – everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad

Leftovers can be a life saver as far as dinner is concerned. It was a busy day on Monday and I hadn’t had much time to even think about what to serve for dinner. In addition, the ladies were pleading for a walk. How could I resist those faces? Dinner would have to wait.

Australian Shepards

Quinn and Casey, the Aussie ladies

Enter leftovers, clean-out-the-fridge and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad.

When I stuck my head in the cold box, I found…leftover farro, some cold chicken, a bit of cheddar cheese, last of a jar of pickled green beans, a few pomegranate seeds, and half each of an avocado and red onion.




I also found half of a butternut squash, the rest had been used in the pumpkin humus.


I decided to roast the butternut squash to give the salad a bit of temperature variation. Combined with the cheese and avocado, it would give the salad a creamy and buttery texture and flavor. The green beans would add a tart note. I had just purchased a package of Trader Joe’s Candied Pecans, there’s the sweet and crunchy note.

Trader Joe's Candied Pecans

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cube the butternut squash, toss with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and some kosher salt. Roast for 40 minutes or until brown and tender. Cool slightly.
  2. Cut the cheese into small cubes.
  3. Slice the onion and avocado.
  4. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  5. While the butternut squash is still warm, toss everything together with some greens (I used arugula and baby kale from the garden) and add a splash of vinaigrette.

Toss gently…ta da! Fanfare!

Assembled salad.




This type of dinner is actually one of my husband’s favorites. Leftovers have always spurred my creativity. He fell in love with me over my Brie omelet (just a small picked over slice remaining from a cheese platter earlier that week). The saddest thing about these dinners are that they are rarely repeated, I never have the exact same leftovers waiting in the fridge.

Do you have a favorite clean out the fridge creation?

November in the kitchen – Roast Carrots with Farro and Goat Cheese

November in the kitchen – Roast Carrots with Farro and Goat Cheese

Roast Carrots with Farro and Goat Cheese

I love goat cheese. There is not much that can’t be improved with a bit of goat cheese on top, at least in my opinion. This recipe uses thinned goat cheese as a sauce for slowly roast carrots and farro.

I got the idea for this recipe from one on the blog My Kitchen Stories. On her blog, Tania suggests using cooked Buckwheat in place of the farro. If you want this to be gluten free, it would be a good substitution. I used farro (which is made from a wheat grain) as I had a package in the pantry. The oven was already on; I was slow roasting some lamb shanks at 300 degrees F for 6 hours. I decided to pop the carrots in the oven with the lamb to roast slowly.

This would be a wonderful vegetarian meal on it’s own, gluten free if you substituted Buckwheat or another grain for the Farro.

Roast carrots with farro and goat cheese

Roast carrots with farro and goat cheese

Roast Carrots with Farro and Goat Cheese (serves 2-4)

  •  1 cup (8 oz) of soft goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of cooked Farro
  • 2 bunches of baby carrots, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Garnish – parsley or cilantro or pomegranate seeds (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (if not already on at another temperature). Mine was at 300 degrees F, you could go as high as 400 F. The cooking times would be shorter.

Most of this could be done ahead, reheat and assemble at serving time. It would also be good at room temperature. In that case I recommend you be more aggressive with your dressing of the grain. Maybe a bit of mustard, more vinegar and oil.

Cook the farro.

  1. Rinse the farro in a strainer, then cover with about 2 inches of water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until cooked.
  3. Drain the farro and set aside until ready to assemble (if serving at room temperature, toss the farro with oil and vinegar, a bit of Dijon mustard, taste for salt).

Prepare the sauce by mixing the buttermilk with the goat cheese until it is softly spreadable. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble.



Cook the carrots

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet.
  2. When hot, add the carrots and sauté on medium-high heat until browned in spots.
  3. Sprinkle the carrots with salt, grated lemon rind, and cumin; stir gently to mix
  4. Transfer the carrots to the oven (still in the skillet or on a baking sheet) and cook for about an hour at 300 degrees F, shorter if your oven is higher
  5. When done to your liking, transfer the carrots to a plate to cool slightly

Assemble the dish

  1. Add the final 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet you used for the carrots
  2. When hot, add the drained farro and rewarm
  3. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar, taste for salt
  4. Spread the goat cheese mixture on one side of the plate
  5. Lay the carrots over the goat cheese
  6. Spread the farro on the other side of your platter
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds

Carrots on goat cheese