With the holiday season in full swing everyone is busy, busy, busy! This is the time of year where I'm baking cookies every night, running to the mall to do a little shopping, and decorating the house. While it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, it often becomes the most stressful time of the year.
That's why I like to take the week before Thanksgiving and give thanks for all the wonderful things in my life. I am thankful for my amazing husband of 5 years and all the sweet things he does for me. I don't know what I would do without him! I'm thankful that I have a warm house to live in. I'm thankful that my family only lives 2 hours away so I get to visit with them during the holidays. There are so many things I'm thankful for and this is the time of year to reflect on that.
Every Thanksgiving we go to my parents for the day. My mom makes a big turkey, mashed potatoes, and homemade stuffing. I make the desserts and usually bring a selection of homemade pies. My cousin brings an appetizer and my brother brings a side dish. By having everyone bring something to Thanksgiving dinner my mom doesn't have to do all of the cooking. It's a great way to get everyone involved in the meal which makes it taste even better.
The one thing that I think is often missing from holiday meals is a green salad. We normally have several vegetable side dishes but sometimes I think it would be nice to have a fresh green salad to start of the meal. That's why this Thanksgiving I'm bringing a delicious Harvest Chopped Salad to dinner.
Making the Harvest Chopped Salad is super easy. It's basically a large bowl of greens topped with bacon, apples, walnuts, cheese, cranberries and red onions. Right before it's served I like to toss it with an easy homemade vinaigrette. Not only is it tasty but it looks beautiful on a holiday table.
When I think of a fresh green salad with fruits and nuts on top I like to pair it with a crisp white wine. My favorite white wine to serve with a first course is Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio. It's bright citrus notes pair wonderfully with a salad.
Since I like pairing the first course with white wine, I usually like to pair the main course with a medium bodied red wine like Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir. It provides a smooth and light finish with aromas of cherry and sweet fruit flavors that works well with poultry.
For the salad:
- 4 c. Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 4 c. mixed greens, chopped
- 8 strips bacon
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- ⅓ c. walnuts, chopped
- ⅓ c. dried cranberries
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ c. sweet cheddar cheese, shredded
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
- ⅓ c. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ c. olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Place the romaine lettuce and mixed greens in a large salad bowl. Toss to combine.
- Place the bacon in a skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate. Cool and then chop.
- Layer the other toppings across the salad, starting at one end with the apples, then walnuts, then cranberries, then onions, then bacon, and finally the sweet cheddar cheese ending on the other side of the salad.
- To make the vinaigrette combine the vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a small bowl. Add the olive oil a bit at a time, whisking constantly until combined.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When ready to serve drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over top of the salad and serve immediately.
A Hezzi-D Original Recipe
Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
More Recipes to Pair with Wine:
- Antipasto by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Blue Cheese, Fig, and Caramelized Onion Palmiers by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Crusty Artisan Style Bread by Life Tastes Good
- Grandma’s Oyster Stew by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Paella by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Balsamic Beef by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake by Alida’s Kitchen