Friday, February 1, 2013

Fresh Spring Greens with Sweet Chile Pecans Raspberries and Maytag Blue Cheese

This salad is so elegant and easy to make. It’s the perfect way to start that special meal.

1 Lb. spring mix (assorted baby lettuces)
Raspberry Vinaigrette
3 heaping Tbl. fresh raspberries
3 heaping Tbl. sweet chile pecans (recipe below)
2 Tbl. crumbled Maytag blue cheese
2 Tbl. chopped red onion, rinsed under cold water

Raspberry vinaigrette;

1-1/2 C Fresh raspberries, plus a few extra for garnish
3 Tbl. Raspberry vinegar
2 tsp. Brown sugar
1 tsp. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. Ground thyme
1/2 C Extra virgin olive oil
1. Puree all ingredients, except oil, in a blender.  While blender is running, slowly add oil. 

Rinse the spring mix very well in cold water and then dry in a salad spinner.  Toss 1/4 cup vinaigrette with the  spring mix in a large serving bowl.  Add all other ingredients and gently toss.  Serve immediately
Serves 6
Sweet Chile Pecans
These are an easy snack.  Folks eat them like candy and they are out of this world as a substitute for croutons.

1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. canola oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
1 cups whole pecans

In a mixing bowl add together half of the sugar, the salt and spices, mix well.  In a large heavy frying pan heat the oil.  Lightly brown the nuts stirring constantly until they release their fragrance (about 2 minutes, be careful they will burn very quickly).  Sprinkle in the remaining sugar, shaking the pan constantly to keep the nuts from burning.  When the sugar melts and caramelizes stir well and remove from heat.  Immediately toss the nuts in the sugar spice mixture separating them with two forks to avoid burning your fingers (Remember if the sugar cools down it will set).  Once cooled down, keep in an airtight container.
Makes 1 cup

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