For me, salads follow the seasons and the intervals within the seasons depending on the growth cycle. We might start in the spring with the most delicate tiny lettuces and snipped herbs and end with more robust but still tender lettuce and snow peas. The fall cycle starts and ends the same way. Now in early fall, we have tender and crisp kale, for example, and intensely colored and flavored winter squash, not yet turning its sugars to starch, tossed with a few toasted sunflower seeds. I could easily have added roasted red onion.
Dressing the salad follows the seasons too. I might prefer light vinaigrette with snipped herbs in the spring, olive oil alone mixed with the juice from tomatoes mid-summer. In the fall, I start to use a more nutritious and robust vinaigrette that incorporates miso. I adapted this from Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks. Combine 1 tbsp miso, ½ tsp powdered mustard, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp unseasoned brown rice vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp toasted sesame oil.