RECIPE: The Ultimate Fall Salad

Humor Columnist Jess Miller shares his favorite fall recipe


After campfires, cozy sweaters and premature Halloween-costume planning, there are few things that say “fall” more than a tasteful seasonal recipe.

Marlena Becker | Cavalier Daily

In case it isn’t obvious already, it’s freaking fall. The leaves are changing color, it’s getting colder and pretty soon my mom is going to bring out this little box of decorative gourds we have and put them all over the house. Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been wearing a flannel shirt since Sept. 21. The very thought of making a scarecrow makes me tear up a little bit. I went into Walmart the other day, saw that pumpkins were on sale and screamed for a full two minutes without breathing. No words either, just screaming at the top of my lungs. 

After campfires, cozy sweaters and premature Halloween-costume planning, there are few things that say “fall” more than a tasteful seasonal recipe. And this Ultimate Fall Salad is cheap, quick and easy to make, a crowd-pleaser and will definitely get you in the mood for fall! Whether you’re looking for a nice dish for your next fall potluck, or just a last minute solution for family dinner, this simple, awesome recipe will do the trick. Here’s what you’ll need...


1 pumpkin, seeded

2 butternut squash

4 cups dried leaves

1 1/2 cups chopped hay

**1 flannel shirt (to be shredded)

1 autumnal scented candle

1 good book

2 cups apple cider

2 3/4 tablespoons tree sap

1 pound pumpkin spice

** May substitute denim jacket or chunky sweater


Prep time: 9 months (January-September)

Cook time: 2-8 hours

Serves 2

First, take the butternut squash and just set them up somewhere on the counter. They look so nice and really add to the fall atmosphere.

Using a knife, carve a spooky face or seasonal shape into the side of the pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern. It’s pretty fun. This will also serve as the container for your salad.

In the jack-o-lantern bowl, toss the dried leaves and chopped hay. Though not required, it is recommended that the dry leaves be pre-crunched underfoot, and that the hay be sourced from either a real scarecrow or a local fairground, corn maze or anywhere where it is likely to have been trod on by boots and crushed by the wheels of a farm vehicle. This will add to the salad’s authenticity and unique seasonal flavor.

Before shredding, put on the flannel shirt, cuddle up in front of a fireplace and read the good book. Light the autumnal scented candle. Take time to enjoy the intricacies of the book’s plot, the poignant way in which the author weaves together the lives and events of the characters. Make sure to allow yourself sufficient time to reflect on the book after finishing it. Then shred the flannel shirt and incorporate it into the salad.

Set aside 1 teaspoon of melted wax from the scented candle, 1/4 cup of candle shavings, and 3/4 cup of the ashes from the fireplace.

In a separate bowl, mix the apple cider, tree sap and melted candle wax. Set aside. This will serve as the salad dressing.

Finally, toss the salad and serve on a plate or in an empty apple crate. Add dressing to taste. Garnish with candle shavings and fireplace ashes. Season with pumpkin spice and enjoy!

Jess Miller is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at

related stories