Spring (Salad) Fever

April 9, 2013
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Yay, it’s here! Spring! Finally!! Get out the salad greens (and the exercise bike)!

MaryJo and I were at Bar in New Haven a week or so back, and had a simple, but tasty salad – have had it before, have made it before – but had forgotten just how much I like it and how easy it is to make.

Spring Salad

You can always buy glazed nuts, but, believe me, they are very easy to make and a heck of a lot less expensive. Buy nuts when they’re on sale, around holidays usually, and keep them in the freezer until you need them.

To make Glazed Pecans or Walnuts: Very easy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 1.5 cups of walnuts on cookie sheet and cook for 5 minutes. If not toasted, leave in for an additional 1-2 minutes but KEEP AN EYE ON THEM. They burn in the blink of an eye! Cool on cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile get another rimmed cookie sheet out and line with parchment paper. In medium heavy bottomed saucepan, pour 1/2 cup white sugar and heat over medium heat. When sugar starts melting, stir with wooden spoon. When sugar is melted and medium amber in color, turn off heat and pour nuts in and mix with sugar. Empty the nuts onto the prepared cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Quickly (they will fuse in about half a minute!) separate clumps, using two forks (they will be hot!) Let cool completely and put in sealed jar. (Can be used up to 1 week and they will stay nice and crispy. They’re good for snacks, too)

Vinaigrette:

  • 4 T cider vinegar
  • 12 T vegetable oil
  • 2t Dijon mustard
  • 1T finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4t black pepper
  • Optional: 3T real maple syrup

Put everything in a clean squirt bottle or clean jam jar, shake for 20 seconds to blend, and put aside.

Assemble salad:

  • Baby salad greens or spinach or any baby or butter lettuces
  • 1 chopped Granny Smith Apple
  • about 1/2 cup gorgonzola (or Feta, if you’re not a blue cheese afficionado)
  • 1/2-2/3 cup of glazed nuts

Give dressing another shake and lightly coat salad with dressing.

Substitute sliced strawberries for the apple, when it’s strawberry season (Baby spinach, strawberries, gorgonzola, glazed nuts and dressing).