Autumn Bliss Salad with Stuffing Croutons

Autumn Bliss Salad with Stuffing Croutons (via abeautifulmess.com)It might be too early to be dreaming about Thanksgiving menus (or is it?! :), but autumn is in full swing and I am celebrating with STUFFING CROUTONS! Can you tell I'm excited? This salad not only tastes amazing, boasting crisp apples, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and all the flavors of Thanksgiving day stuffing in those croutons, but it's also incredibly easy to make. Plus it makes your kitchen smell like Thanksgiving day (I suspect it's the sage-rosemary combo). 

Autumn Bliss Salad with Stuffing Croutons (via abeautifulmess.com) Autumn Bliss Salad, serves 2

3-4 oz bread, cubed
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 celery stalk, sliced thin (approx. 1 oz or slightly less)
1 clove of garlic, minced

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
plenty of salt and pepper

For the salad:
1 head of romaine lettuce 
1 apple cored and cubed, I really like honey crisp here
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Cube the bread and slice the celery, then place in a bowl. In a small bowl or cup, stir together the melted butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, herbs, and minced garlic. Toss with the bread and celery. Place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat (or lightly oiled), and bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes. 

Stuffing croutonsEasy apple cider dressingMeanwhile, in a small jar, combine the apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Shake to combine well. (You could also whisk in a small bowl, but shaking is more fun!) Taste, and add salt and pepper. 

Wash and dry the lettuce (if needed), then chop up. Toss the lettuce, cubed apple, and dressing. Divide onto two plates. Top with the pumpkin seeds, cranberries and the stuffing croutons. 

Autumn Bliss Salad with Stuffing Croutons (via abeautifulmess.com)  Notes:

-I used a small pretzel loaf for the bread here, but pretty much any bread you have can work. I think something on the thicker side is best. Also cornbread would probably be amazing. So don't be afraid to change it up. You can also double the crouton recipe listed above and save some for another salad later in the week, just keep in a sealed bag or container after baking.

-My one issue with dried cranberries is it's extremely difficult to find them without added sugar. I try to avoid added sugar in savory foods so I can enjoy it more in treats. 🙂 If you're feeling similar, you could swap out the dried cranberries here for pomegranate seeds instead. 

Make this salad soon, guys—it's too good to miss! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions