Thanksgiving. It’s over. Or is it? If you need Leftover Turkey ideas, be sure to see my 12 Days of Turkey, which is now a collection of over 40 recipes for T-Day leftovers. Hopefully, you had a big salad like this Winter Salad with Avocado, Pomegranate & Maple Roasted Pecans for Thanksgiving. If not, maybe make it, now. And toss some leftover turkey in it if you’d like. Or maybe save it for Christmas or your New Year’s buffet.
The fun thing about a Holiday week like Thanksgiving is all kinds of items that might be a little spendy just happen to be on sale! I have a post about Holiday sales – I call this season that opens with pre-Thanksgiving, takes us through Christmas and wraps up with New Years the “Trifecta of Holiday Sales.” Even if you don’t celebrate these holidays, take advantage of the prices.
So load your salad up with all good things – Pomegranates, full of Vitamin C and Flavonoids, keep for weeks, wrapped in the fridge. Avocados, full of the life-giving healthy heart oils are usually at a huge discount; buy some near ripeness and some rock hard so they’ll be there when you want them. Pecans might surprise you – I used to think nuts were an unnecessary expense until I learned how good they are for you!
This is a great time of year to look for specialty lettuces – but be careful to compare the price per pound and if bagged, buy at a great sales price or you’ll typically pay 4 to 10 times the amount of loose-leaf lettuces.
For example, if your lettuce is on sale, $1.29 a pound, that’s 8 cents an ounce. If your bag of lettuce is 12 ounces on sale 2 for $5.00, that’s 20 cents an ounce. That doesn’t sound like a huge difference in price, but that difference translates back to $3.33 a pound for that bag.
There’s a reason that bagged lettuce is sold in 12 to 14-ounce packages, and priced by the bag. It makes it very hard to compare and it’s highly unlikely most people would pay that amount if they only knew the true cost. Aldi and Costco are both great places to pick up fancy packaged lettuce without breaking the bank.
If you don’t stock up on nuts during the holiday season, well, you’re probably a little nuts. If you eat them, use them in baking or snack on them, you’re unlikely to find them for lower prices than right now. There may be coupons available, too. Buy them and toss them in your freezer.
So enough talk of money, how about this salad? Wowzer, right? I love this with several dressings. One’s my Honey Citrus, another is my Sweet Sorghum (yeah, sorghum is such a cool ingredient) and my newest love..er…dressing, Maple Dijon. You can’t go wrong with any of them!
Winter Salad with Avocado & Pomegranate
For the pecans; make ahead so they can cool:
- 1 1/2 cups whole or large pieces of pecans
- 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- several grinds pepper
- pinch of cayenne
Combine pecans, maple syrup, salt, pepper & cayenne in a bowl; mix until evenly coated.
Spread on nonstick, or parchment paper-lined baking sheet sprayed with lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 325°F for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring twice, until walnuts are lightly browned. Watch carefully towards end.
Cool on baking sheet; walnuts will become dry and crunchy as they cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
For the Winter Salad
- 6 – 8 cups sturdy mixed lettuce
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 large or two small apples, sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- arils from 1 pomegranate
- 1/4 of thinly sliced shallot or small amount of red onion, thinly sliced (if using red onion, soak in cool water for 10 minutes and drain)
- 1 recipe Maple Glazed Pecans, above
- slices or chunks of cooked chicken, turkey or ham, optional for a main dish salad
Wash & dry lettuce, place in a large bowl. Toss avocado and apple slices each in a tablespoon lemon juice.
Arrange apple, avocado, pomegranate arils and Maple Glazed Pecans over lettuce. Strew with the shallot or red onion. If using chicken, turkey or ham, toss atop.
It’s going to take more than 10 seconds, but mostly works.