September 21, 2009

Exploring Coastal New England

Fall is just around the corner and I can’t wait! Autumn is a celebrated time of year in the New England area, and is synonymous with beautiful colorful foliage and apple harvest time. Luckily, the weather has remained fairly warm, but there are definitely bursts of crisp, cool air. The landscape is just beginning to change with leaves of bright fall colors.

Wanting to take full advantage of the warm sun, I decided that part of my Massachusetts exploration should included a day trip to see coastal New England. The road trip included Newburyport and Rockport, two very charming, historic towns with tons of seafood and quaint shops.

As per request from some Massachusetts locals, I simply had to stop in Ipswich to eat the “best fried clams ever” at the legendary Clam Box of Ipswich. Personally, I don’t eat much fried food, but when we’re talking about fresh, high-end seafood fried to perfection, it’s hard to resist. Justin and I splurged on a mixed platter of clams and scallops, piled high with onion rings, and accompanied with tartar sauce and cole slaw. My expectations were definitely met…

Other events of the day included browsing local shops and stopping at several roadside farm stands with great produce! After the fried food episode, I had a major craving for a big, healthy salad (but don't I always...?). I ended up concocting a great early-fall salad that is worth sharing with you!

Early-Fall Deconstructed Salad
Makes 1 large salad.

For the salad
A handful of mixed greens or spinach
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 apple, grated (toss with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning)
1 medium beet, peeled and grated (optional)
1/2 ear of corn, shucked
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 tablespoons raisins
1-2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped
For the dressing
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/4 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
2. Place greens in a shallow salad bowl and top with vegetables, cheese, raisins and walnuts (arranged in small piles if desired).
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

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