Yes, actually they are. You're missing a bet if you're relying on the same, tired lettuce and tomato salads. My eyes are drooping just thinking about that.
Salads at my table are required to be crisp, crunchy and refreshing! Lettuce occasionally finds its way into that equation, but not as often as you might think. Autumn provides us with so many delicious fruits and vegetables that it can be difficult to know where to begin - but, let's begin with Persimmons. Originally native to Asia, they're now grown in North America. Persimmons figure in my top five favorite fruits, and I look forward to fall just on account of them.
There are two types of Persimmons: Hachiya (below). This one is rather like pudding inside. It should 'give' with gentle pressure. Like a peach. You eat it with a spoon, if you're trying to be polite. I'm often not. It's perfect for making all manner of sauces or desserts from. NOTE: You do NOT want to try and eat an unripe (firm) Hachiya persimmon. It will give a whole new meaning to 'Pucker Factor'. Unripe, they are extremely astringent.
Then, there is the Fuyu persimmon - my personal preference (below). Crispy and crunchy. Short and squatty. Rather like me. They're firm with layers of flavor that is difficult to describe, impossible to forget. Eat them like an apple. BTW: sliced thinly, they're awesome in a galette, and they dry well. A persimmon galette is one of my fav things to make for Thanksgiving dessert.
When I see these in the store, I buy them in ginormous quantities. It's good that there's self-checkout, then I don't feel compelled to explain.
I always have peppers on hand, and my neighbors pear trees were loaded this year. So, I've got a boatload of pears ripening in the garage. Little apples, too. The other thing that goes perfectly with these is crisp, green celery. And, don't toss those tops and leaves! Why do people do that? Those leaves are like flavor gold! The only part that I don't use in a salad or such is the root end. That goes into the plastic zip-lok in the freezer for making vegetable stock.
So, let's recap: Chop up some celery, sweet peppers (I like Anaheim peppers, but also those little mini peppers), persimmons, pears and/or apples (if you have 'em), a few green onions. Toss in: sliced almonds, and maybe some dried golden raisins. Or, what about some Goji berries? Oooooh. Maybe some diced dates or figs! Oh. My.
Dress it any way you like, but I recommend a 'less is more' approach. Lighter is better.
You could get away with a no-oil 'viniagrette' ... I make one using Guar Gum to thicken it. Just really good white Balsamic vinegar, sweetener (maple syrup or honey), granulated onion, Fines Herbes blend, a pinch or two of salt, freshly ground pepper. Dressings like this keep well for at least a week in the refrigerator. Put them in a jar that you can easily shake.