Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fall-Inspired Chop Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette (Or When Life Gives You Hickory Farms Cheese & Summer Sausage, Make Salad)

Last week the UPS man delivered a large box to my door and inside was a Hickory Farms"Home For The Holidays" box--full of 3 Summer Sausages, 4 kinds of cheese, crackers and two kinds of mustard. Thanks to the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and Hickory Farms, I had enough for multiple holiday gatherings. Besides enjoying it with friends, I wondered how else I could use some of the bounty and my thoughts ran to a Fall-Inspired Chop Salad. I love a good chop salad with lots of even-sized bites full of different ingredients, tastes and textures.

I used the Hickory Farms Summer Sausage, two of the cheeses, a can of garbanzo beans and veggies (cucumber, radish, tomato and romaine) from the fridge, and added a few fall touches like fresh pear and candied nuts. I dressed the salad in one of my favorite dressings, a Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette (using both kinds of the mustard in the box). This a hearty salad with the flavors of fall. No Hickory Farms gift box? A chop salad is still a good way to use up any extra cheese and salami and other goodies in your fridge after a holiday party.

Fall-Inspired Chop Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 12 cups of salad)

1 heaping cup Summer Sausage or salami, chopped (I used a mix of Beef Summer Sausage and Italian Recipe Summer Sausage)
1 heaping cup cheese, chopped (I used Big Barn Cheddar & Creamy Havarti Blend)
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 Japanese cucumber, chopped
3-4 large radishes, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 pear, chopped and mixed with lemon juice to maintain color
4 cups baby romaine, shredded/chopped
Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Honey-Sesame Glazed Walnuts, (recipe below)

Make sure all ingredients are chopped roughly the same size as the garbanzo beans. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve with the Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette and garnish with the Honey-Sesame Glazed Walnuts.

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
By Eating Well Magazine, Feb/March 2006
(Makes 1 1/4 Cup Dressing)

1/2 cup olive oil, or canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard (I used 1 Tbsp each Hickory Farms Sweet Hot Mustard & Honey Pineapple Mustard)
2 tsp soy sauce (I used 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Put all ingredients into a small jar and shake vigorously until well-mixed.

Per 2 Tbsp serving: 62 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbs; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 92 mg sodium.

Honey-Sesame Glazed Walnuts
by Alyssa Moreau
(Makes 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup walnuts or other raw nuts like pecans or cashews
1 tsp olive oil
sea salt
2 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and transfer to a saute pan heated with the olive oil. Toss the nuts in the olive oil to coat, add a pinch of sea salt, the honey and sesame seeds and stir to coat. Place on foil or parchment paper to cool.

Notes/Results: Hearty and full of lots of flavor and texture, this is a great lunch or dinner salad. You can of course use whatever meat, cheese and veggie combo you have on hand. I used some sweet candied nuts I had already made but if I were making them special for this salad, I might add a little spice to them for another layer of flavor. The Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette is from Eating Well magazine and it is excellent--its sweet-tangy combination compliments the other elements of the salad. If you aren't going to serve and eat all of the salad at once, I recommend keeping the dressing on the side and adding it as you serve. I accompanied the salad with some of the Sesame, Caraway & Sea Salt Crackers in the box. I would make this again.

Mahalo to Foodbuzz and of course to Hickory Farms for providing the gift box and giving me the opportunity to enjoy a pretty delicious salad too. ;-)

Happy Saturday!


  1. What a crazy combo of ingredients! I love the sound of the stuff that you got from hickory farms. I'm always up for free cheese and salty meat. :P

  2. What a great idea, because I'm sure lots of those giftboxes will be showing up under some trees soon!

  3. Your creative salad sounds really yummy...It's so colorful too!

  4. Now that's a salad!
    The Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette sounds absolutely delicous.

  5. wow, I haven't seen such a tempting salad in a long time!

  6. My inlaws used to send us one of those packages every year and my husband just adored it. We only used it all on cheese and crackers though, yours is a wonderful idea!! Nicely done!!

  7. I am loving that vinaigrette! I'll definitely be trying that with our next salad. We love summer sausage around here. Such a creative way to use it up, while getting in some veggies. :)

  8. We used to always have Hickory Farms goodies for the holidays but it's a tradition that fell by the wayside. What a great idea to make a salad - the dressing sounds incredibly good!

  9. wow...very tempting and delicious salad

  10. What a score! That is a nice tastemakers option you recieved and wow - what you did with it. Great salad!!

  11. How pretty...! I love how colourful the salad looks :).

  12. oh that looks delicious and what a fun package!

  13. Everything I like in one salad! This could easily be my favourite food.

  14. yummy way to use those ingredients!

  15. Joanne--crazy combo yes, but it really works together well--especially with the dressing--Yum!

    Pam--it uses up those leftovers nicely. ;-)

    Nancy--thank you! ;-)

    Michelle--thanks! It is a great dressing and works well with the salad. ;-)

    Nicole--thank you! ;-)

    Kim--thanks! If you have any leftovers, it is a great way to use them. ;-)

    Lori--I think you'll love the dressing. And yes, putting the goodies with vegetables means less guilt. ;-)

    Renni--it is fun to revisit old traditions in a new way. The dressing is a favorite fall one for me. ;-)

    Soumya--thank you! ;-)

    Pierce--it was an excellent score and fun to use part of it in a different way. ;-)

    Cooking Gallery--thank you! ;-)

    Simply Life--thanks! ;-)

    Adora's Box--I have been munching on it all weekend. ;-)

    Kat--Mahalo! ;-)

  16. Your salad looks so colorful and sounds delicious.

  17. How fun to receive all those goodies. MMM....maple-mustard vinaigrette, those are two of my favorite flavors combined together. I also love the honey sesame walnuts and the whole chopped salad. Excellent way to use up your bounty!


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