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Autumn Dinner Salad

Chiqui, a wonderful cyber friend from a favorite cook's discussion forum shared this recipe from a friend of hers.  It's a marvelous blend of flavors and textures, and has become a family favorite.  Serve this along with Yucatan Carrot Soup, another recipe from the same trusted source, add fresh crunchy bread and it's all you'll need for an "impress your friends" meal.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon     dry mustard
½ teaspoon    seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon    black pepper
3 tablespoons    balsamic vinegar
½  teaspoon onion juice (see notes)
1   clove garlic, crushed
¾ cup    olive oil
2 tablespoons    butter
½ cup    chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons    brown sugar
1 firm    apple or pear
1 cup    alfalfa sprouts
3 whole    scallions, chopped
3-4 ounces    crumbled blue cheese

Mixed salad greens (Chiqui recommends romaine, leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce and radicchio)

To prepare the balsamic vinaigrette, combine the dry mustard, seasoned salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar, onion juice and garlic.  Let stand 1 hour. Just before serving, pour through a wire-mesh strainer to remove garlic. Add the  olive oil in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly.

To prepare salad, melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add walnuts and brown sugar and sauté until nuts begin to soften (a couple of minutes). Remove from pan to cool.

Wash and drain lettuce. Tear into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. At serving time, core fruit and cut into pieces.  Toss lettuce, fruit, sprouts, scallions and half the nuts and cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. Sprinkle remaining nuts and cheese over top.

Serve immediately.

Note:  If you don't have bottled onion juice you can press some using a garlic press.


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