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Fall Fest: 5 Fabulous Fall Salads

Feast on fall freshness: Emeril's shaved fennel salad

Fall Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

In this edition of Fall Fest 2010, we’re talking about the salads of fall. It’s true that the warmer months are better-known for garden-and-farm fresh salads, but just because there’s a bit of a chill in the air, doesn’t mean you have to go eating all heavy. Fall’s bounty — squash, spinach, beans, beets, figs, grapes, apples — this is all great salad stuff. In fact, I’d argue that it’s even better than the zucchini, peppers, corn and peaches we started the season with. So without further ado, here are 5 fantastic salads you must try (before comfort season really takes over).

1. Emeril’s Orange, Fennel, and Black Olive Salad (pictured above)

2.  Sweet Fig and Mesclun “Splitsville” Salad with Nutty Pesto and Goat Cheese Crostini, from Bitchin’ Kitchen’s Nadia G.

Sweet figs + garlicky pesto + tangy goat cheese = one bitchin' salad

3. Another from Emeril, Pickled Beet Salad Over Frisee

If you look really fast, Emeril's salad looks like fall foliage

4. Giada’s Italian Lentil Salad

No lettuce necessary -- give lentils a chance

5. Nigella’s Baby Spinach, Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salad

Look for fresh spinach at the farmer's market, most farmers plant it in the spring and again in the fall

What season’s salads are the best? Spring or fall? (Take a gander at our other fall fest-ivities for a reminder of just how awesome fall produce is.)

More fall salads from our family and friends:

And don’t forget to join the conversation (all season!) on twitter at #fallfest.

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