Thursday, October 24, 2013

Greens with Blackberries, Blueberries, Sugared Walnuts and Feta

Greens with Blackberries, Blueberries, Sugared Walnuts and Feta and Pink Poppy Seed Dressing
The summer my husband and I were married, we worked for the Forest Service in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, up near Sun Valley.  I worked a second job at The Rocky Mountain Ranch, a rustic hotel/lodge nearby.  The chef at the restaurant served a lot of wonderful salads, which were topped with gorgeous berries, fragrant cheeses, sugared nuts and homemade dressings.   I was in heaven!  (And took lots of notes!)  I was totally inspired and came away with a whole new approach to salad!  "Say goodbye to tomatoes and carrots and say hello to berries!"  To this day berries, fruits, nuts and cheeses are the first thing I think of throwing on a salad.  If you have children who hate salads...forget the tomatoes and cucumbers and add some favorite seasonal berries, and the Poppy Seed Dressing!  It works every time! We enjoyed this salad at the Harvest Party.
Wash and dry an assortments of lettuces and place on a platter
8 ounces blueberries
8 ounces blackberries
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup walnuts (see recipe below)
Poppy Seed Dressing (see recipe below)

                        Sugared Walnuts

            My friend Dena Duncan shared her recipe for these sugared walnuts.  I double the recipe so I have plenty on hand to toss on last minute salads.  These are fabulous on salads but be sure to make plenty of them because people can’t resist snacking on them too!

2 cups walnut halves
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons canola oil

In small pot bring 4 cups of water to boil. Stir in nuts.  Remove from heat. Let sit 3 minutes. Drain and dry with paper towel.  Mix sugar and salt in a bowl and toss with hot nuts. Add oil to nuts and stir. Spread on baking sheet in a single layer.  Allow to dry for one hour.  Bake at 350 until golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes.   Remove from oven and toss nuts on baking sheet with spatula to loosen nuts from pan. Cool.  When cool and dry toss on top of your salad just before serving.  Store remaining nuts in an air- tight container.                       

 Pink Poppy Seed Dressing
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons garlic powder
¼ teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate.

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