Recently I had lunch with a friend at a restaurant which specialises in salads. Our salads were delicious, but when I looked around the room I noticed that most diners, ourselves included, had left small mounds of greens on our plates when we were finished. The proportions were way off.
I had ordered a green salad with blue cheese, pear and hazelnuts tossed in a champagne vinaigrette. The problem was I had about 5 cups of greens and about 1 tablespoon each (give or take) of cheese, pear and hazelnuts. I don't have a problem with greens, but I do like to taste a bit of the extra goodies I ordered with each forkful, and I suspect so did a lot of the people in the room with us.
This recipe has the proportions I prefer in a salad, and our plates were clean when we were finished!
1/2 cup pecans
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp warm water
2-3 pinches salt
2-3 pinches ground cinnamon
Transfer the pecans to a skillet which has been heated over medium heat, and heat the pecans, shaking the pan from time to time, until the pecans become fragrant.
Combine the sugar, water, salt and cinnamon, in a small glass, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour over the pecans in the skillet and cook stirring until the water has evaporated and the pecans are covered in a glaze.
Empty the pecans onto parchment paper, trying to keep them in a single layer. Allow them to cool.
1/2 cup raspberry juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 -3 tsp deli mustard with horseradish
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine everything in a small glass cup with a fork, until well mixed. Set aside.
6 cups leafy salad greens
1/2 cup sugared pecans, broken up (recipe above)
1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into dice
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/2 - 3/4 cup vinaigrette, (recipe above)
Place the leafy greens, pecans, diced apple and goat cheese in a salad bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss until everything is lightly coated with the dressing.