Sunday, February 13, 2011

Escarole Salad with Clementine, Candied Walnuts and Pecans


I was getting tired of plain ol' salad and dressing, so I decided it was time to be fancy. :) Ok, it isn't really fancy, but it feels fancy. Every time I go to a nice restaurant I always look for some type of interesting salad that combines new flavors. For some reason, I don't usually make these interesting salads at home. I think it's because salad is usually a last minute addition to my meals. But this salad was planned out and worth it! This recipe calls for candied walnuts and pecans, but only a small handful. I couldn't scale them down for the salad, so I ended up making 2 cups, which left extra for snacking..... oh darn. ;)

My salad was a huge success, but in the last few weeks I have had some serious food flops.
Let's go over a few:
  1. Pizza with anchovies, caramelized onions and blue cheese. Why on Earth did I think this would taste good? Who knows! But I seriously thought I was inventing the next big thing. Bleck!
  2. Sticky Toffee Pudding - Over cooked the toffee and ended up with one very dry cake.
  3. Jalapeno Poppers - Pretty good, but the pepper did not cook AT ALL. So next time I will roast them first.
  4. Made an AWESOME turnip mash that I was excited to share, but since it was a bit watery, I decided to cook them a different way to see if I could remedy the problem before posting. Uh-uh, didn't work. I ended up with a bitter, nasty mess.
  5. Almond Crackers - Sounds easy enough and it was, but it ended up tasting like a cheese omelet cracker. Portable omelet anyone?

2 cups of nuts 
Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne
Mix the nuts with the cooked sugar mixture
Spread out on a baking sheet to cool 
Add to salad or just snack on them 

Escarole Salad with Clementine, Candied Walnuts and Pecans
Adapted from MyRecipes
Serving Size = 3 or so

Dressing
  • 4 teaspoons almond oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice (or orange juice or lemon juice or even a mild vinegar such as apple-cider)
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons honey (I didn't measure, just to taste)
Candied Walnuts/Pecans
Serving Size = 2 cups (you will need a small handful for the salad)
  • 1 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1 cup of shelled pecans
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Cooking Spray (I used organic extra virgin olive oil)
Salad
  • Escarole (enough for 3 side salads)
  • 1 or 2 Clementines, cut into sections
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spread the nuts across a baking sheet and bake until toasted (about 10 - 15 minutes). While the nuts are baking, go ahead and start the candy. Combine the sugar, water, salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Cook in a small saucepan, around medium or a little above, without stirring, until it reaches 228F (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat and add the toasted nuts, toss thoroughly. Spread out onto the baking sheet, spray lightly with the oil and let them cool.
  3. For the dressing, just whisk together the ingredients and taste. Make sure you taste by dipping a piece of the salad into the dressing. Sometimes the dressing tastes good alone, but when added to the salad it isn't sweet or salty enough. I do not toss the dressing with the salad. I serve the dressing on the side so people can add as much as they want. If you want to mix them, then add to taste because it might be a bit too much dressing for the salad.
  4. Plate it up. Add the escarole, drizzle on the dressing, top with Clementine pieces and candied nuts. Done!

12 comments:

Swathi said...

This salad with candided nuts looks delicious Elsa.

kitchen flavours said...

Gosh, I think that those gorgeous nuts would disappear before I could even say 'salad'! Must have smelt heavenly!

Kate said...

I love that you didn't pre-roast your peppers. I kinda giggled at you...I mean with you.

Elsa said...

Well, one recipe said pre-roast and about 100 others said just fry them AND they had high reviews, so I was mislead and I blame others. :)

Melynda said...

What a beautiful salad, and the nuts would disappear quickly here as well. thanks for posting this great recipe.

Sense of Home said...

Came back to save that apricot bread recipe and just had to comment on this yummy looking salad.

-Brenda

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