Having a salad on the Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to be an afterthought. There are so many delicious seasonal salad options for such a cozy fall meal and this one from Chef Citrin allows you to work in many of the fall holiday ingredients we love most.

Citrin designed this recipe to include as many harvest veggies as he could – perfect for small families that want to celebrate all the traditional Thanksgiving foods without making too many dishes. Make all of these recipes – the Harvest Salad, Blue Lake Beans, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and dessert we’ll share Monday – from the fresh, organic produce in just one box from Summerland Produce Co. Summerland’s Thanksgiving Box has all the produce required for each recipe and will come delivered (or shipped) to your doorstep anytime between now and November 27th. We’re giving away one box to a lucky reader today (find the details below)! Here’s Chef Citrin…

This fall chopped salad utilizes the colors, flavors and textures that we associate with autumn. In this single dish, with every bite you get all the savory, comforting, crunch, tart and sweetness that represent Thanksgiving.

Chef Josiah Citrin’s Thanksgiving Harvest Salad


1 head romaine lettuce
1 butternut squash
3 branches of celery
2 parsnips
1 ½ bunches of baby carrots
½ lb ruby red grapes
1 granny smith apple
1 cup walnuts
1 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil)
¼ cup dried cranberries
6 sage leaves, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cranberry Base
1 cup fresh cranberries
½ cup brown sugar tightly packed
½ cup unsweetened cranberry juice
zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 clove
1 star anise

½ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup cranberry base
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup water
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups grapeseed oil
½ cup extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the butternut squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the squash, and separate the neck from the base. Cut the neck into rectangular logs 1 inch by 1 inch by 4 inches (use scraps and base to prepare a soup). Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Lay them on a tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the squash is cooked through but still firm. Let cool and cut into cubes. Store squash in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. This can be done a day in advance.

Prepare the parsnips: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the parsnips and cut into ¾ inch pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a pinch salt. Lay the parsnips on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes, or until cooked through, but not mushy. Let cool, store the parsnips in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator. This can be done a day in advance.

Prepare the carrots: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the tops and scrub the carrots. Toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Lay them on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool and cut into ½ inch pieces. Store the carrots in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator. This can be done a day in advance.

Prepare the walnuts: Bring the simple syrup and the walnuts to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the syrup. Bake in a 325-degrees oven for 15 minutes.

Prepare the cranberry base: Combine all the ingredients for the cranberry base in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the clove and star anise. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Prepare the vinaigrette: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the cranberry base, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, water, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Shake well. Add the grapeseed oil and shake well. Add the extra virgin olive oil and shake well. Taste, and if too thick, add a little water and shake well. Store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator until ready to use. This can be made up to 5 days in advance.

Prepare the romaine: Remove the outer leaves of romaine, wash and dry well. Cut ½ lengthwise and then into ½ inch pieces. Keep in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator.

Prepare the celery and apple: Cut the celery and apple into ½ inch cubes. Cook the celery only in salted boiling water for 2 minutes transfer to a bowl of ice water. Dry the celery well and store both the celery and apple in a container with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator.

Prepare the ruby grapes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the grapes on a baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and remove from the vine. Store the grapes in a container with a tight-fitting lid. This may be done a day in advance.

In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables, walnuts and dried cranberries. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper, mix well. Add the romaine, sage and ½ cup of vinaigrette and toss. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve.

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Win one of Summerland’s organic Thanksgiving Boxes to make each of award-winning chef Josiah Citrin’s holiday recipes for yourself next week.

To enter: Subscribe to the Chalkboard newsletter here and leave your comment below on our Guest Chef’s Thanksgiving recipes. A winner will be announced Monday morning and we will arrange speedy shipment or delivery of your very own Thanksgiving Box! Good luck!

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From our friends


  1. What a beautiful side to serve with Thanksgiving dinner! Sounds delish.

    Simi | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  2. What a beautiful salad! Last year our Thanksgiving menu included this roasted harvest salad: butternut squash, carrots, red beets, bosc pear, pecans, golden raisins, tons of spinach topped with a healthy maple orange dressing! Maybe not as healthy at Citrin’s but just as yummy! Would love to serve all of Citrin’s recipe’s this year 🙂

    Christina | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  3. Love the receipe and the giveaway.

    Signed up under shankyouverymuch11 at yahoo dot com

    manda | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  4. Perfect salad to balance out the richer foods on Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to make it. (And thanks for the Giveaway!)

  5. Mmmm..the recipe looks so yummy! Thanks for the opportunity to win a delicious Thanksgiving Box to make dishes to share with whoever we spend the holiday with!

    Mackenzi | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  6. Amazing. A perfect combination of sweet and savory to go along with everything else : ) This will definitely be made!

    Weezie | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  7. That salad looks so delicious. What I think would be even awesome is spreading some puréed chickpeas over a baguette slice, top with salad and then the other half of the baguette. Mmm- what leftovers are meant for!

    Elora | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  8. I love the idea of a Thanksgiving salad. Not everything on the table needs to be heavy and buttered!

    Leah B | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  9. I subscribe to The Chalkboard newsletter via e-mail already.
    This salad looks so good! There are sure a lot of YUMMY ingredients in it, so how could it NOT be good???

    Carolsue | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  10. Yum! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    crystal | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  11. Wow! That box looks absolutely incredible! Who wouldn’t love it just in time for thanksgiving! I’m cooking this year (for the first time…eek!) I could use all the help I can get! Thanks for the great recipe and giveaway, I’ve already printed out the Harvest salad recipe and plan to serve it this year:)

    Casandra | 11.22.2013 | Reply
  12. Yum!! I can’t wait to make this recipe!! Fall veggies are my favorite. All of the different textures and flavors sound amazing together!

    Rachel | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  13. I love finding healthy and delicious recipes for the holidays using fresh ingredients. This harvest salad sounds amazing and is the perfect combination of fall’s best produce! A definite must-try!!

    Donna F. | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  14. What a great mix of savory, tart and sweet in one dish! Pleasing to the taste buds in every way! Fall is my favorite season so this recipe looks especially wonderful!

    Adele | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  15. This looks full of flavor, what a treat this would be this year!!

    Jaclyn Reynolds | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  16. Nothing makes me happier than fruit in a salad. Look at how he treated those gorgeous grapes – if I was a grape that’s how I’d want to go!

    Kate | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  17. I can’t wait to try these recipes. What a delicious fall rainbow of flavor.nourishing thankfullness

    shelly | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  18. I am so thankful to get your Harvest Salad recipe! Organic and full of colorful veggies, I believe this would qualify as an “anti-cancer” Thanksgiving salad! This is my second Thanksgiving since beating colon cancer and I’m always excited to bring super healthy dishes to family gatherings! Thank you for sharing the recipe and the chance to win a box of organic veggies! Cheers!

    Kelli | 11.23.2013 | Reply
  19. I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to make on Thanksgiving. Thanks for the great recipe idea!

    Natalia | 11.24.2013 | Reply
  20. This Harvest Salad looks Delish! Would love to make my own on Thanksgiving too 🙂 Thank you for the generous giveaway!


    The Chalkboard | 11.25.2013 | Reply
  22. SO excited to make this for my friendsgiving this year 🙂

    liza | 11.25.2013 | Reply
  23. HI! Happy almost Thanksgiving! Did the winner get announced? 🙂

    Mackenzi | 11.26.2013 | Reply
    • Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Mackenzi! The winner was announced, but stay tuned for upcoming giveaways on TCM!

      The Chalkboard | 11.26.2013 | Reply
  24. This produce box is genuinely one of the best things I’ve ever received. After winning this box, I think I’ll order it every holiday season. Everything arrived fresh and delicious! Thank you so much!

    Casandra | 12.01.2013 | Reply
    • We are so glad you enjoyed it, Casandra! Happy Holidays!

      The Chalkboard | 12.02.2013 | Reply
  25. What a delicious and thoughtful salad! Love how you gave the advanced prep time info that helps a lot! Hoping to win a box!!!

    Lindsey | 11.13.2014 | Reply

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