Monday, October 22, 2012

Falling into Fall -- Apple Beet Salad with Maple Dressing

So, listen. I'm going to tell you a secret. But, only if you promise not to tell.

You see, I've always said that Summer is the only season that I enjoy--Spring is too squishy, Winter is just plain terrible in New England (long, freezing, annoying to drive in), and Fall is unable to be enjoyed because it's just a segway into Winter. Summer is for sure the best season and by far the shortest.

This is a big reason why I have dreams of moving to Southern California--a gorgeous place with no winter? Sign me up! Sign me up right away!

But, the truth is, if I did leave my cozy little corner of New England for bigger and better things, there is one thing I'd actually miss.

Like, a lot.


Okay, I know! I told you, you can't tell anyone. I do have an image to uphold! And years and years of whining I cannot back out on. But... it's true. Just look how utterly GORGEOUS my valley looks this time of year:

Taken from atop Poet's Seat in Greenfield. I took a hike by myself (something I NEVER do) with my
roommate's dog and this view just blew me away

Isn't that stunning? Like, seriously, stunning. Not to mention the smell of crunching leaves, the pumpkin-flavored-EVERYTHING, and all of the fun fall festivals and harvests. The last hurrah before winter comes.

Not to mention my birthday AND my favorite holiday both fall in the month of October. I've loved Halloween for as long as I can remember! So, maybe if I'm being truly honest, it's just October that I'll miss. September makes me sad because it's when Summer dies, and November is just far too close to December and the beginning of the holiday season.

Zombie Pub Crawl 2012

So, October it is. I'd miss the vibrant colors and beautiful countryside if I ever do make it to SoCal.

But, you didn't hear it from me.

In other news, this week begins Hell Week--the week before a show opens. Every night I'll be at the theater, running lines and dances and songs while changing in and out of costumes and helping to finish up any last set construction things. It's going to be a long, busy week. But the end result will be a fantastic play that I hope our little valley can enjoy--The Rocky Horror Show. I've wanted to be a part of this production for YEARS, and it's finally opening week. I'll definitely be posting pictures soon.

Until then, enjoy this awesome salad, bursting with all the flavors of fall. Apples, some root veggies, all beautifully tossed with oil and vinegar and maple. A great lunch, or side dish to a hearty fall meal. This was also part of my Johnny Appleseed party a few weeks ago.

Apple Beet Salad with Maple Dressing

(Recipe from Women's Day)

  • 6 small fresh beets, trimmed
  • cup(s) olive oil & vinegar dressing (I used a homemade one using balsamic vinegar and EVVO with salt and pepper)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1-3 apples  cut in thin wedges
  • 1 bag baby arugula
  • 1 large Belgian endive,  cut in strips
  • Croutons (original recipe has directions on how to make your own)

Microwave beets and 2 Tbsp water in a loosely covered shallow dish on high 5 minutes until tender. When cool enough to handle, hold under running water, rub off skins and cut in chunks. Alternatively, you can bake beets in tinfoil in an oven for 40 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees, but this way is faster.

 Pour dressing into a large bowl; stir in syrup. Add apples, arugula and endive; toss to mix and coat. Divide salad among 6 plates; add beets and croutons to each.

One more time--so pretty!


  1. I miss living in New England so much during the fall. The leaves on the trees change in other places that I've lived, but never as vibrantly or as widespread. Love the fallishness (that's completely a word) of this salad.

  2. Wonderful post, Ashley! Beautiful photography - I wish I had gone on the hike with you! Jerri

  3. You're like...the prettiest zombie ever :P

    1. Aw, thanks! You were in a horror movie, so I trust your opinion more than most, hehe.

  4. Love this salad - I'm a big beet fan! I love your tree/fall leaf photos. That's the best part of living in the northeast to me - seasons... especially fall.

    1. I could do without winter, but Summer and Fall are okay :)

  5. Oh my goodness me...WELL captured.. I could almost taste the superb food from my planet.

  6. I pretty much couldn't live without I totally get it. :) Your pictures of this salad are STUNNING!

  7. Love love LOVE your styling here! A green, purple and pink salad? Gorgeous. And that bowl is fabulous! Love your shallow depth of field and your low lighting. Well done girly, I'm so proud!

    1. I COULD take credit here butttt... my friend helped me take pictures so that we could get to eating sooner, hehe. He keeps offering to help teach me the techniques, I need to take him up on it!

  8. Gorgeous fall photos! And I love the idea of a maple dressing for a beet salad. Sounds so tasty - beets are my favorite.

  9. This salad is gorgeous. Pretty enough for zombies even.

  10. This salad looks amazing. I've lived in Florida for over 15 years now and that is the one thing I still miss. Not the colder weather that fall brings in but the foliage!