Thursday, October 4, 2012

Eat your Greens

Looking for a new salad? Here are two of my new favorites.  If you don't have the time to make the dressing, go for balsamic vinaigrette.  It works just as well.

Baby Lettuces with Feta, Strawberries and Smoked Almonds:
*make sure to use smoked and not regular almonds... it makes all the difference

Ingredients: 2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 small shallot, minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup EVOO
Freshly ground pepper
12 cups packed assorted baby lettuces (about 6 oz)
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
4 oz feta (preferably French), crumbled (1 cup)
1 cup smoked almonds,

In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, honey, shallot and vinegar.  Stir in the EVOO and season with salt and pepper.  Put the lettuces in a big bowl.  Add the strawberries, feta and almonds.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss well and serve.

Nectarine and Blue Cheese Salad with Plum Vinaigrette:

Ingredients: 2 black plums, halved, pitted, chopped
1/2 cup EVOO
4 tsp ume plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
12 cups (lightly packed) mixed greens (such as arugula or frisee)
4 nectarines or peaches, halved, pitted, cut into eighths
8 oz firm blue cheese, such as Cabrales, sliced
1/2 cup almonds, preferably Marcona

Bring plums and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally and mashing plums with the back of a spoon, until plums have completely broken down, about 15 minutes.  Pour plum mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much purée as possible; discard solids in sieve. Let purée cool.  Add oil, vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. water to purée; whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Divide greens among plates. Scatter nectarines, cheese, and almonds over, dividing equally, and drizzle some of dressing over. Season with salt and pepper.DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

***This vinaigrette also goes well on a salad with apricots, goat cheese, and pistachios.

PC: Food and Wine and Bon Appetit

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