Sunday, October 21, 2012

Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese

I don't know why I am always experimenting with different salad recipes.  I have a few go-to greens (baby arugula and big mix from 5 lbs of Dirt are the most common salad greens in our apartment) but we tend to mix it up with dressings and ingredients.  I bought some nice blue cheese at my new favorite cheese shop last weekend (more on that later) and I have been trying to figure out what kind of salad to make with my cheese.  I thought about getting some pears and doing roasted pears with blue cheese over salad greens, but decided to go with this salad because it used ingredients we already had in the apartment.  My one complaint with the salad was that this salad dressing combined with the dried cranberries (which for the record were unsweetened) was a little sweet for me.  I would probably cut back a little more on the amount of maple syrup or use a more bitter green.  The big mix is fairly bitter because it has baby kale and chard and mustard greens in it, but it' not as bitter as some other greens.  I definitely would tone the dressing down before using it with something as mild as baby spinach.  When you got a bite that combined all of the ingredients the blue cheese and the toasted pecans really helped to cut through the sweetness of the dressing.  But there were a few bites with just lettuce and the sweetness was a little overwhelming.  I think there are other salads with blue cheese and fruit out there that do a better job of striking a balance between the pungent flavor of the blue cheese and the sweetness of the fruit or the dressing.

Recipe after the jump!

Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese
Adapted from Gourmet
October 2006

2 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups moderately bitter greens (we used big mix, but a combination of endive and other greens would work)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
2 tbsp dried cranberries
3 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

Whisk together oil, shallot, vinegar, syrup, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Thinly slice endives on a long diagonal, then toss with spinach and dressing in bowl.

Sprinkle salad with pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese.

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