Monday, February 25, 2013

Solie's Signature Salad

Here is a salad recipe that you will love.  Enjoy it alone or add some grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp on top.  Using all healthy and nutritious ingredients: vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil and cheese.  It's a salad that is sure to please!  "Solie" was one of my many nicknames during college and this is one of my staple salads that everyone seems to love, hence the title- ENJOY it!

Salad ingredients:
About 6 ounces greens (I used 3 ounces mixed greens and 3 ounces baby spinach or arugula.  Whatever you like!)
1/2 pear or apple chopped (I like Red Anjou or Red Bartlett pears and Honeycrisp Apples)
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1/4-cup dried cranberries (Craisins work great)
1/3-cup pecan pieces or pistachios
1-tablespoon sugar (white or brown)
2-3 tablespoons crumbled Feta or Gorgonzola cheese

Dressing ingredients:
1 heaping tablespoon red raspberry preserves
1/4-cup balsamic vinegar
1/3-cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Wash and spin dry the greens and place them into the salad bowl.  Add sliced apples or pears, feta, onion and dried cranberries.  If using pistachios, add those too and skip to step 3.  If using pecans, go to step 2.

2.  Place pecan pieces into a pan (non-stick ideally) and add the sugar on top so that it is evenly distributed.  Turn burner on high.  It is very important that you watch the pecans carefully while they are heating approximately 1 minute or so you will notice the sugar begin to liquify.  When this starts to happen, use a wooden spoon to stir the pecans and sugar around.  The remainder of the sugar will liquify rapidly- keep stirring.  Once all of the sugar has liquified (you see no more white sugar in the pan), turn the burner down to medium (this will happen after about 2-3 minutes) and allow pecans to roast for another minute or two exercising care not to burn them (use your wooden spoon to move them around the pan).  Add the sugar roasted pecans to your salad (and a few to your mouth because they are kind of irresistible) :-)

3.  Now for the dressing...take your heaping tablespoon red raspberry preserves and place into a bowl.  Add the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and combine well so that the preserves are thoroughly dissolved into the mix.  And add as much dressing as you like to your salad (I usually add a little less than half of what I made and save the rest for another salad).

  Bon Appétit!
(And have a Fabulous Weekend!)

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