Mixed Greens with Roasted Fall Fruit, Frizzled Onions and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Asian pear
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
½ cup olive oil
6 to 8 cups mixed salad greens
8 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup toasted pecans
For Frizzled Onions: Place onions in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Let sit a minimum of one hour. Mix flour, chili powder, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Preheat oil in deep fryer or a deep skillet to 375 degrees. Drain onions and discard the buttermilk. Toss the onion in the flour mixture, separating the rings and coating completely. Fry in small batches until onion rings are golden. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Keep warm in a warm oven.
For Roasted Fruit: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Core and slice apple and pear into 1/4-inch thick slices. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add sugar and cinnamon, stirring until melted. Add the fruit to the saucepan and completely coat fruit with cinnamon mixture. Spread the fruit out on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
For Dressing: Combine vinegar, honey and mustard in electric blender or food processor. Blend, then slowly add oil, blending until incorporated. Refrigerate. This may be made a day ahead.
To Serve: Place the lettuce in a large serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat all of the lettuce. Sprinkle the cheese and pecans over the salad and top with the roasted fruit and frizzled onions.
Original recipe by Chef Sam Etheridge
Retested and provided by the National Onion Association