Autumn Chopped Salad with Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing from Around the Table

It’s officially fall and at The Secret Ingredient, we’re excited to add all of the season’s foods to our weekly shopping bags. The Autumn Chopped Salad with Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing from Around the Table, Martina’s McBride’s new cookbook and entertaining guide, fits the bill. Using leafy greens, sweet pears, and crumbled feta and bacon, this delicious salad hits all the right notes. We already know what we’ll be making this weekend! Make sure to add Around the Table to your cookbook collection, on sale October 7th. Pre-order a copy from your favorite retailer.

Autumn Chopped Salad with Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing
Serves 6

autumnsaladFor the salad:
3 romaine hearts, chopped (about 8 cups)
2 small Red Bartlett pears, chopped
3⁄4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
3⁄4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Balsamic-Poppy Seed Dressing (see instructions below)

Combine the lettuce, pears, cherries, pecans, bacon, feta, and parsley on a large platter or in a large bowl. Serve with the Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing.
Tip: Have you ever noticed that when you toss a salad all the good stuff (in this case the fruit, nuts, cheese, and bacon) goes to the bottom of the bowl? I like to toss the chopped lettuce with the dressing and then add the rest of the ingredients on top. It’s really pretty that way and it ensures that everyone gets a little of everything on their salad plate. This salad is pretty enough to bring to the table to serve.

For the dressing:
(Makes 1 cup)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1⁄3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grated yellow onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the poppy seeds, sugar, balsamic vinegar, onion, garlic, mustard powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor, pulsing 3 times. With the food processor running, gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube, blending until incorporated.
2. Pour the dressing into a screw-top jar and store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, shake to recombine.

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