Granola in our salad is a total obsession over here at Salt and Wind and never more than this time of year. That's to say when we're all doing our best to resolve to eat and excercise better and more, we're all about salads. But that plan can get boring in a minute without, well, some sort of plan. Ours is to switch up each salad and make sure there's always something a little indulgent from a great cheese to loads of avocado, or, in this case a crunchy granola that's got any old crouton beat.
plus more for garnish
halved, cored, and thinly sliced
For the granola: Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, cheese, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
Place the egg white, oil, and soy in a small bowl and whisk until foamy then pour it over the oats and mix until everything is well coated. Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes total. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a wire rack, and cool the granola completely. (It will crisp up as it cools.)
Granola can be made up to 2 days ahead – store at room temperature in an airtight container.
For the dressing: Combine buttermilk or yogurt, creme fraiche or sour cream, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 3/4 teaspoon of pepper, and sugar in a small food processor or bowl and process or whisk until evenly combined. Taste, adjust seasoning as desired and serve.
Dressing can be made up to 4 days ahead – store refrigerated in an airtight container.
For the salad: To serve, arrange greens on a serving dish, top with shaved fennel and grapes, sprinkle granola, and top with shavings of cheese. Pass dressing on the side.
Photography and food styling by Aida Mollenkamp