Kale, Pear and Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Well hello November!

I’ve never been one to herald the arrival of this dismal time of year, but this month we’ll transition into our Halifax home and I am filled with anticipation for that new chapter. I’ll be sharing more on our move soon (here’s a sneak peek at our lakeside cottage), but for now we need to talk about this salad I’ve been making on repeat.

Since the cooler weather has arrived, I’ve certainly been cooking more sheet pan dinners and slow cooker suppers, but I’m also embracing fall greens with gusto. It might be my favourite season for building a hearty salad, and as you will see, I like to pile just about everything on the plate.

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Watermelon Greek Salad

Watermelon is a delicious, ever-present staple in our diet all summer long, hacked into wedges and served up chilled. It’s a refreshing way to beat both the heat and my children’s inevitable afternoon attack of the munchies.

I usually sprinkle my melon with a touch of sea salt and a squeeze of lime, and or blend it with mint into agua fresca. But this summer, watermelon has taken the spotlight in a vibrant salad that is as delicious as it is pretty.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Asparagus

Our backyard was a busy place last weekend, with family and friends dropping by and staying to visit. It’s exactly how I love summer life to unfold, with spontaneous spritz on the patio and campfire s’mores just for kicks.

A vegetable-packed pasta salad is one of the ways I like to feed a crowd without too much effort, especially when it is sweltering outside. You can make it in advance or whip it up at the last minute; serve it on its own or with a side of grilled sausages.

It’s fast to prep, is easily customizable and enjoyed by all. Simply put, pasta salad is just smart, simple summer cooking – which is why I can’t believe I’ve never shared a recipe for it until today. Today’s recipe for Mediterranean Pasta Salad is our go-to salad during the hot months. I give my version, but also suggest plenty of ingredient variations for you to make it your own.

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Fresh tomato + peach Caprese salad with wild blueberries & thyme

I‘ve been enjoying a tomato salad nearly every day this month; it’s effortless eating when the tomatoes are ripening on the vine in my backyard and the kitchen garden is packed with herbs two feet tall.

Often the tomatoes are paired with briny olives and salty feta in an easy Greek salad and other times I dice them up for a Kale Tabbouleh with Cucumber, Mint and Garlic Scapes. Another favourite – and real crowd pleaser – is my Bloody Caesar Shrimp Salad, which combines tomatoes, celery and shrimp into a tangy dish perfect for quick Sunday lunch.

A recent creation that proved to be most delicious was the addition of sliced, fresh Niagara peaches to a Caprese salad. I served this riff on a classic at the start of the harvest dinner we hosted on the homestead a few weekends ago, and promised you the recipe. It’s a salad I serve at every harvest dinner, mostly because it is so delicious when prepared in season, but also because it is very easy.

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Crunchy Apple-Pear Salad with Pomegranate, Pine Nuts & Yogurt

My garden has been dormant for only a few weeks yet I already miss the crunchy, sweet carrots, bundles of kale and bouquets of fragrant herbs.

Salad planning has to much more intentional now that winter is here, and I have to load up on even more vegetables on market days if I want to have fresh salads throughout the week.

Last week, when I was all out of leafy greens, I  found inspiration in a case of jumbled assorted apples and pears that we had in our cold room. I know I’m forever adding apples to salads around here, but this one is extra special, believe me.

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