A Healthier U


Salads are often linked to summertime when the growing season first explodes. However, fall is an especially tasty and varied time of year for produce, as late-season fruits and veggies are in full-harvest. Utah has a great variety of produce still growing throughout the fall, including:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Blackberries
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes
  • Arugula, escarole, and radicchio
  • Beets
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Chard and collard greens
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins

With such an abundance of locally grown cool-weather produce available throughout the state, fall is the perfect time to add new ingredients to your salads and give them a fresh taste of autumn. Here are four delicious and nutrient-dense options:

Harvest Cobb Salad
Adapted from Chungah Rhee, food blogger, damndelicous.net
Yield: 4 servings

Salad ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional: toast in a skillet over medium heat 5-7 min., watch to make sure they don’t burn!)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese

Poppy seed dressing:

  • 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  1. To make the poppy seed dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, apple cider vinegar and poppy seeds in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  3. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of bacon, eggs, apple, pear, pecans, cranberries and goat cheese.
  4. Serve immediately with poppy seed dressing.

Autumn Couscous Salad
Adapted from Heidi Larson, food blogger, foodiecrush.com
Yield: 6 side servings


  • 8 ounces Israeli or Pearl couscous, about 1 ½ cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced, about 1 cup
  • 2 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 ½ cups apple juice, reserving ¼ cup of the cooked juice
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Bring water to boil in a medium size saucepan, add couscous and bring back to a boil then lower to medium and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, but do not rinse. Set aside in a mixing bowl to cool.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add diced fennel and cook for another 5 minutes or until fennel softens. Add butternut squash, sage, cranberries, raisins and apple juice and cook for 15 minutes or until butternut squash has softened and almost all of the apple juice has cooked down. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the couscous, reserving about ¼ cup of the apple juice for the vinaigrette.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the reserved apple juice, canola oil, red wine vinegar and more salt and pepper to taste. Add to the couscous with the parsley and stir. Let couscous sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for flavors to meld before serving. Add more sage if desired.

Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad
By Chelsea Lords, food blogger, Chelseasmessyapron.com
Yield: 6 side-servings

Salad ingredients:

  • 5 ounces fresh spinach  or half of a 10-ounce bag
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta (shells, ditalini, macaroni, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • ¼ c. Feta cheese


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sugar (depending on preference)
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika and onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a blender combine the oil, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarin oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. Top the salad with the pecans and feta cheese.
  9. Enjoy immediately.

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Pecorino
By Bree from Sugar & Grace food blog
Yield: 3-4 servings

Salad ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups thinly sliced kale (approx. 1/2 a bunch)
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, finely shredded using a mandolin or sharp knife
  • 3-4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 c almonds, chopped (or use sliced almonds if preferred)
  • 1/2 c Pecorino or parmesan cheese, finely grated


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Add in olive oil, whisking until combined.
  2. Mix sliced kale and shaved Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
  3. Add in bacon, almonds and cheese.
  4. Pour dressing over the top and toss salad until all ingredients are distributed throughout.


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