The wife loves to eat salad. Given we are vegetarian, it is one way to stuff multiple veggies in our bodies. A few weeks back though, I realized that we were having a basic salad (Spinach, Cucumber, Tomato, Olives, Carrots etc) with dressing, way too often. My beef (pun intended) with this salad was that it was just meh! Given the rather sad state of produce in the US (see my rant here), the veggies themselves are mostly insipid. The dressing tries to add some flavor to the salad, but often fails. So my challenge to both of us (my wife and I) was to start making more interesting salads.
The wife went first and made an absolutely wonderful Spinach, Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese (recipe to follow). It was my turn next, and I turned to the Internet and found a recipe on Allrecipes.com (link here) that looked interesting. It had Blue Cheese, Walnuts and Cranberries, some of my favorite ingredients in a salad, so I decided to give it a shot. Given my inclination to fiddling with recipes and the limitations of what I had in the pantry, I made some minor adjustments. I am happy to report that the end product was more than acceptable. In fact, I would make it again. The only word of caution is that the amount of dressing that the recipe creates is a lot, so you are best off serving the dressing on the side rather than tossing all of it into the salad.
INGREDIENTS (enough for 4 as a starter)
- A bunch of Spinach/Kale mix (you can use any kind of greens)
- 1/2 cup walnuts – toasted
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 large tomato (use Heirloom if you can still find them)
- 1 avocado – peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 red onion – sliced thin (wash the onion after slicing to remove some of the sting)
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or Stilton (or any other flavorful Blue Cheese)
FOR THE DRESSING
- 2 Tbsp Strawberry Jam
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality stuff)
- 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Toss all the salad ingredients together
- Put all the dressing ingredients in an airtight bottle and shake vigorously to emusify (I have found this to be a much easier way to emulsify than to use a whisk. You get the same result, but quicker.)
- Toss the dressing with the salad (in the quantity that you like) and enjoy.