Thursday, May 22, 2008

Salad For Royalty

I'm not sure Wes, my Mom, or I can be classified as royalty but someone must have thought this salad was. This is the salad that was served at the Derby this year. I made some alterations based on what I had on hand, but it was a quite tasty salad. Salads are a good way to get in several food groups, so be creative and healthy at the same time!

Kentucky Bibb salad with strawberries in an apple cider vinaigrette

2 heads Bibb lettuce (I used one of those plastic containers of mixed Romaine)
1/8 cup apple cider vinaigrette, recipe follows
¼ pound Maytag bleu cheese (I used Feta)
½ cup candied pecans, recipe follows (I used almonds)
1/8 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup cinnamon raisin croutons, recipe follows (I used wheat bread with cinnamon sugar)

Remove roots from Bibb lettuce and cut into quarters. Toss with apple cider vinaigrette, bleu cheese, candied pecans and strawberries. Place on serving platter and garnish with cinnamon raisin croutons.

Candied pecans
2 cups pecan halves (I used about 1/3 cup almonds)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (I used about 1 tsp)
1 teaspoon warm water (I used just a splash)

Mix powdered sugar and water. Dust pecans with powdered sugar mixture on parchment paper and bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Apple cider vinaigrette (I 1/2'ed this whole dressing)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dry leaf oregano
½ tablespoon dry leaf basil
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, except the olive oil. Add the olive oil gradually and whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Cinnamon raisin croutons
1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread (I used 3 slices of multigrain bread)
½ cup butter (I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar in the butter before tossing)

Cut bread into ½ inch cubes. Melt butter and toss bread cubes with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

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