Celebrating 50 and ‘Never-Fail’ Salad Recipe

Grilled goat-brie cheese drizzled with thyme infused honey, fresh sliced figs, and cracked pepper

“Never-Fail” Spring Sensation Salad with Sweet Spicy Pecans

Recipe adapted from “Roux To Do” The Art of Cooking in Southeast Louisiana

FOR THE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons honey

3 garlic cloves, pressed

3 green onions, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

FOR THE SWEET SPICY PECANS:

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup pecan halves

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

FOR THE SALAD:

8 ounces spring mix greens

1 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

2 small avocados, sliced (my addition)

2 cans (11 ounces each) mandarin oranges, drained

1 pint strawberries, sliced

TO PREPARE THE VINAIGRETTE:

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, green onions, salt and pepper in a 2-cup measure until blended. Whisk in enough olive oil gradually to make 2 cups. Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

TO PREPARE THE PECANS:

Microwave the water in a small microwave-safe glass bowl until the water boils. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the pecans. Soak for 15 minutes; drain. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar, the chili powder and red pepper in a sealable plastic bag. Add the pecans and shake to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring once.

TO PREPARE THE SALAD:

Toss the spring mix greens, red leaf lettuce, cheese and balsamic vinaigrette in a large salad bowl. Add the mandarin oranges, avocado slices and strawberries and toss gently. Sprinkle with the sweet spicy pecans just before serving.
While I was in charge of things in the kitchen, I left Sarah, and her creative eye, to decorating the dining room. She did an absolutely stunning job of displaying the cupcakes on various candle holders while highlighting some of my mom’s favorite flowers (hydrangeas and orchids).

The table was equally gorgeous. She playfully set the table using antique Franciscan Madeira glassware, new French countryside salad plates from Williams & Sonoma, and classic white china. The centerpiece was a bouquet of summer flowers given to my mom earlier that day by Lance. Everything came together perfectly – mixing festivity with elegance.

My mom. The beautiful birthday girl.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Celebrating 50 and ‘Never-Fail’ Salad Recipe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s