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My Favorite Salad

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I just can’t seem to get enough of my favorite salad.  Favorite for today that is… It is a spring lettuce mix with strawberries, spicy pecans, and shaved Gorgonzola cheese.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  It is one of those salads where the flavors come together so perfectly… it’s unique and delicious.

Having just gotten homemade strawberry jam from my mom, I had the perfect excuse to make my salad with grilled chicken for a little party this week with some of my friends. I hope they like it as much as I do.

I have talked before about eating in season. It is a great way to eat well on a budget.  Nothing costs more or tastes worse than strawberries that are out of season.  The greens for this salad are ready to harvest out of my garden this week.   The strawberries have been cheap and delicious.  There are a few things out of season, like the granny smith apples, but they aren’t too expensive.  I love to make this salad in the winter with pomegranate seeds in place of the strawberries.

Lily and Emma helped me prepare the pecans and the vinaigrette today:  (They love an excuse to wear their aprons.)  (I love their help and entertaining with foods that can be prepared ahead of time.)

Lily made the pecans:

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1.  Stir together 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 cup sugar until dissolved.  Add 1 cup pecans and soak for ten minutes.

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2.  Drain the pecans.

3.  Mix together 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper.  Toss in pecans and stir til well coated.

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4.  Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Emma made the vinaigrette:

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Emma is really good at whisking.

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Nothing keeps my kids happy and completely occupied like cooking!

Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Strawberry Vinaigrette:
1    tsp. Salt
1    tsp. Pepper
8    Tbs. Sugar
8    Tbsp. Vinegar
1    cup Vegetable oil
8    Tbsp. Strawberry Jam

Sweet & Spicy Pecans:
1/4    cup sugar
1    cup warm water

Stir together until sugar dissolves.  Add 1 cup pecans & soak 10 minutes.  Drain.

2    Tbsp. sugar
1    Tbsp. Chili Powder
1/8  tsp. ground red pepper

Combine ingredients, then coat drained pecans.  Bake on greased cookie sheet @ 350 for 10 minutes.

Salad:

  1. Layer on a platter a bed of mixed greens.
  2. Toss diced apples (I prefer granny smith)  or pear with fresh squeezed lime juice
  3. Add chopped green onions
  4. Place sliced and sweetened strawberries around periphery (Pomegranate is a good substitution in the Winter.)
  5. Optional:  Place sliced chicken in center
  6. Add a layer of crumbled or shaved Gorgonzola
  7. Sprinkle spiced pecans over the top
  8. Drizzle with Vinaigrette just before serving


Optional:
Grilled Chicken:
Marinate skinless chicken breasts for 2 hours in equal parts:
1    cup Italian Dressing
1    cup Lowry’s Mesquite-Lime Marinade
1    cup teriyaki sauce (or soy sauce, sugar, fresh ginger root—chopped)
Add ½ cup Tequila (optional)
Sprinkle with Lime-Pepper (or Lemon-Pepper) on the grill

Click here for the Printable Version.



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4 Responses to “My Favorite Salad”

  • This looks really good! I will have to try it and I know I will love it. It is similar to another salad that I just LOVE.

  • Wow. That salad IS mouth-watering! Your mom always brought the yummiest salads (and everything) when I took her classes at Gentler Times. Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try the strawberry salad dressing!

  • nicole olsen:

    have had this twice–thanks for the delicious summer recipe!

  • eatathomecooks:

    I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. It looks great. I made a similar salad a few weeks ago, but mine had goat cheese instead of gorgonzola. I like the way you did the pecans. I’ve tried recipes that call for glazing them in sugar on the stove top, but I consistently fail at that for some reason. I’ll have to try them your way.

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