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

Posted Nov 27 2010 5:01am

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 1/2 cups Summer Sausage or salami, chopped (I used a mix of Beef Summer Sausage and Italian Recipe Summer Sausage)
1 1/2 cups 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!
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