Autumn Salad: from Sidney O’Keefe Fish of Beauty of the Bistro food truck

11/22/2013 8:00 AM

11/22/2013 11:12 AM

SIDNEY O’KEEFE FISH | Beauty of the Bistro

Mostly people show up at Sidney O’Keefe Fish’s popular food truck for outstanding burgers, homey casseroles and salads with a gourmet twist, but from time to time you might see someone show up at the window with a jar in hand.

Time for a refill of Fish’s signature vinaigrette, a recipe that she alters slightly according to the seasons. “I have a couple women who buy it from me by the jar. I usually do have extra on the truck because I never know when somebody is going to want it,” she says.

The ingredients whirl up in the blender and stay emulsified without shaking. The quantity of her recipe is large, making enough dressing for a crowd, and then some. “That’s something I had to get used to,” she says. “When you cater and run out, it’s horrible. But for a food truck, when you sell out, you did well.”

Fish says her fall salad — full of apples, pecans and feta cheese crumbles — is a colorful addition to the typical Thanksgiving meal where “everything is golden and brown.” It’s also nice to add a salad option when serving large groups, she says.

Autumn Salad With Sugared Pecans and Spiced Cider Vinaigrette Makes 12 servings


8 ounces whole pecans 4 tablespoons butter, melted 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


3/4 cup apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups canola oil 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter 1 teaspoon ground allspice


1 pound fresh baby spinach, washed and rinsed 2 Honeycrisp apples, cored, thinly sliced and tossed in lemon juice 1 small to medium red onion, very thinly sliced 6 ounces feta cheese crumbles

The day before Thanksgiving:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pecans in melted butter. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Spread nuts in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Break up the pecans and store in a plastic zip-top bag.

Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and process until thoroughly combined. (The vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

Thanksgiving day:

Place all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Sprinkle pecans over the top. Fill a pint-size mason jar with vinaigrette for serving and place the remainder in a pint-size mason jar for another meal, or give as a gift.

Per serving: 539 calories (76 percent from fat), 48 grams total fat (8 grams saturated), 23 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 422 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.


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