Thursday, April 10, 2008

Les Salad Mis

I really hate whining. Maybe because I'm such a whiner myself. I whine about the weather (too hot, too cold, too rainy, too bright), I whine about clothes shopping (what sadistic genius thought up putting fun-house mirrors in dressing rooms?), and I whine about making salads.

I love eating salads, I just don't like making them. There's something annoying about having to wash the lettuce, dry the lettuce, and shred the lettuce. Don't ask why, it just is. I make my daughter do it whenever I get around to putting salad on the menu.

Recently I went out out to dinner and had an amazing salad. It was part of a three course meal and I knew I shouldn't eat it all if I was going to save room for dessert, but I couldn't help it. It was so delicious I savored every last bite.

As I thought about that salad, I recalled that I had a similar recipe that a friend had given me years earlier. I pulled it out of my recipe stash and it was really close. I bought a giant Costco container of mixed organic salad greens and we ate salad three days in a row. It was that good. And no lettuce prep involved. Yeah!

(The recipe calls for blue cheese, which I dislike, so I used a wonderful Irish Dubliner cheese, also from Costco.)

Apple Walnut Salad
- adapted from Simply Classic

Serves 6

Mixed organic salad greens
1 large flavorful apple (I used Braeburn)
3/4 cup Glazed Walnuts (recipe below)
3/4 cup tangy, crumbled cheese - blue or other favorite


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp shallots, minced (I didn't have, so I tossed about 2/3 Tbsp dried onion flakes in and let the dressing sit for a while.)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

For Dressing, plut all the ingredients into a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until evenly combined.

Place salad greens in a large bowl. Cut apples into small chunks and scatter over the greens. Sprinkle walnuts and cheese evenly over the salad.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Glazed Walnuts:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp salt
1 pound walnuts

Preheat oven to 250 deg. F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine butter, corn syrup, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add pecans and stir to completely coat nuts. Spread nuts evenly on lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and serve. Store in an airtight container.


brandin + kari said...

This salad combination is one of my favorites: fruit, nuts, cheese, and a light vinaigrette. It is so comforting. Beautiful photography!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Haha, oh goodness, I too am a whiner (ESPECIALLY about weather and schoolwork!!) - so you're not alone ;0) And I too find salads to be rather labor-intensive! Although, when they turn out as beautifully as your Apple-Walnut Salad, then it's all worth it in the end :0)

The cheese smiley-face is too cute!! :0D

RecipeGirl said...

Ah, I love a good salad recipe!

Isn't it funny what you think to do with food (alas the funny face) when you're playing around in the kitchen. Love your humor!

Deborah said...

I keep saying I'm going to buy a salad spinner to make lettuce prep easier, but I haven't yet. But this salad sounds amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Whining about the weather here is not considered proper whining, it is opening up the conversation.
I love a good salad. This sounds good but I will have it with the blue cheese and then dab a bit behind my ears. I love blue cheese!

Rachel said...

Now I am tempted to get a costco membership just so I can get that cheese!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Lynn, I feel just like you do about making salad! No idea why, I love to eat them but they are just too much trouble!
And yes that prepared baby green stuff is like heave. I don't much this salad and love it even with blue cheese since I'm a big fan.

Peabody said...

Yeah, I am lazy and always buy the mixed greens at Trader Joe's...I don't want to clean either. :)
This salad looks like a real winner...I love everything in it.

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LyB said...

I love those huge containers of salad greens, we buy one a week during the summer, I hate salad prep too! This one is going in the "summer" list! :)

Gretchen Noelle said...

This sounds really good! I love delicious salads with lots of tastes and textures!

Sophie said...

This looks incredibly fresh! Though I have to say, I think my favorite picture is of the smiley face, I love playing with food :).

Mama Mia said...

I absolutley love your blog. So inspiring. Thank you for bringing cooking joy into my world! :)

Emily said...

Geez, Jason. OK! Maybe I don't want to make and extra $900 a month. What kind of work do you do that you're pulling in so much extra money?

The salad looks delicious. I'm kind of crazy about that blue cheese, walnut, and apple combo. Well, any cheese actually.

Kelly-Jane said...

I'm also the same about preping lettuce - will give costco a go!

This is a lovely, well composed salad, and the dressing is just my kind of thing too.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, I'm lazy about that too, I must confess.
Buying a salad spinner was a smart move, I don't know how I'd lived without that till then.

That salad looks delicious, I'll be trying it!

Melanie Anne said...

Mmm--this salad looks so delicious! I love the Dubliner cheese at Costco too! It is great in creamy tomato soup and on grilled hamburgers too!

Anonymous said...

This salad sounds delightful, especially the glazed walnuts! :D

Neen said...

Maple syrup in the dressing.. interesting! This post is especially apropos for me, because I just finished blogging (er, whining) about my huge fear of salads... they always seem to involve more creativity than I have in store. Maybe this recipe will be a baby step towards a better salad relationship. (Of course, having a daughter to wash my greens would help too!)

Anonymous said...

Feel free to whine all you want :)
Love the cheesy smile.

Helene said...

I love the look of that salad! How Spring-y and refreshing. I know I am weird (we have already esablished that!) but spinning salad is one of the little pleasures of my life (goes back to childhood).

Marcia said...

I love salad, but I confess I am a little lazy on the washing lettuce department... I totally get what you mean! I've never seen maple syrup in salad dressings - I love it! Here in Brazil, we usually use olive oil, vinegar/lime juice and salt to season salads.