Monday, August 09, 2010

Garden Fresh Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Candied Walnuts

Tonight was pasta night at our house. We have had Marc's sister and nephews in town this week and we just wanted something relaxed and easy. We had two types of pasta, our typical ziti with vodka sauce and also Marc's homemade spaghetti with clam sauce. We rounded out the meal with homemade garlic bread and a fresh salad.

I have to say the salad was pretty easy to throw together and tasted absolutely delicious. The inspiration from the salad came from something I ordered a few weeks ago at a local restaurant. Marc really wanted to try the salad but unfortunately it was served on spinach, one of the foods he is allergic to. So he asked why can't you make that salad with another type of lettuce? Tonight we did.

Garden Fresh Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Candied Walnuts

  • Romaine lettuce or spinach or other green of your choice
  • granny smith apple
  • dried cranberries
  • walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
For the dressing
  • Strawberry or raspberry jam
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil

Cut the bottom off the lettuce and cut 1/2 inch thick slices, rinse and spin dry. Slice the apple width wise and cut into small pieces.

In a small heavy bottomed saucepan toast the walnuts over medium heat, stir continuously so as not to burn. When the walnuts are golden and smell toasted, remove from pan and set aside. In the same saucepan, add the sugar and heat over medium heat until the sugar has fully melted and turned a golden brown. Do not overcook as the sugar can burn. Add the walnuts and stir to coat. Immediately turn the walnuts out onto parchment paper or a silpat and separate with forks. The walnuts will clump together almost instantly so make sure you work quickly. Let cool while you make the dressing.

To make the dressing mix the jam, vinegar and oil to your taste. Mix well with fork or whisk. I used about 1 tablespoon jam to 2 tablespoon oil and 1/2-1 tablespoon of vinegar. If you taste too much vinegar, add more jam. If it tastes too sweet add more oil and/or vinegar.

To assemble salad mix lettuce with apple, sprinkle walnuts and cranberries over the top. Either dress with dressing or serve on the side. Enjoy!

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