Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Strawberry Pecan Salad

First of all, Happy Birthday America!!  Second of all, this salad is utterly divine.  Fresh summer strawberries are the star of this salad and when they are tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette, they blossom with a whole new level of flavor.  If you are too hot to cook, which happens a lot in the summer, this salad is total perfection and really can't be beat.  You could add grilled chicken to bulk up this salad, but it is truly a delicious and hearty salad on its own.  I first made it for a quick and easy dinner for Mark and I, but I loved it so much that I made it in a very large quantity for my sister's bridal shower this past weekend.  I added slices of balsamic grilled chicken and whole snap peas and served it as a lunch entree.  We were sweating to the oldies in the excessive heat warning in beautiful Southern New Jersey, but I think everyone had a fun time anyway.  It was wonderful to see my fabulous family and I hope we didn't scare away Katie's future in-laws too much!  I even got to sneak in a snuggle-fest with our family's newest cutie pie, Brooks.  I couldn't have asked for a better day! 

PS - The recipe for the Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad is coming up on Friday especially for Ed's Aunts - great to see you ladies and I'm looking forward to the wedding!
Strawberry Pecan Salad (serves 2-3)
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 cup pecans
12 strawberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta (or blue cheese, if you prefer)
Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes about 1/2 cup - keep leftover dressing in the fridge)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

1.  Wash and slice the strawberries into bite-size pieces.
2.  Chop, wash, and dry the lettuce and put it in a large bowl.
3.  In a dry pan, toast pecans over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until lightly toasted.
4.  Toss all the strawberries, pecans, and cheese into the salad bowl with the lettuce.
5.  Whisk together all of the balsamic vinaigrette ingredients.  You won't need all of this for the salad and you can save whatever is leftover.  Toss the salad lightly with dressing and enjoy!

One Year Ago: Lime Marinated Steak Fajitas
Two Years Ago: Spinach-Arugula Pesto

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