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:
- 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!
- Sticky Toffee Pudding - Over cooked the toffee and ended up with one very dry cake.
- Jalapeno Poppers - Pretty good, but the pepper did not cook AT ALL. So next time I will roast them first.
- 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.
- 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
- 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)
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)
- Escarole (enough for 3 side salads)
- 1 or 2 Clementines, cut into sections
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plate it up. Add the escarole, drizzle on the dressing, top with Clementine pieces and candied nuts. Done!