Salad lamentations. Could there be anything worse?
She asked if I could think of anything to jazz up her salads from the regular ho-hum lettuce and tomato (with the occasional carrot or crouton thrown in) to something more, well, exciting. Something fabulous! she said.
She's not much of a cook (her own opinion, not mine) and doesn't have much time to spend in the kitchen.
First, no one should lament their salads. It's just wrong.
Lament your cheese crackers, maybe. But not your salads.
Second, I think that every salad, to be the very best salad it can be, should have a tangy, a crunchy, and a sweet element.
A salad needs to look good as well as taste good, and a variety of textures, shapes and colors makes that happen.
One thing that I like to do is add a tangy cheese (such as blue cheese, or goat cheese) and a sweet and crunchy nut.
Why look what we have done. We have killed the proverbial two birds with one stone.
The sweet and crunchy nut.
It's so easy to make Sugared Pecans (or Walnuts, or whatever...)
Just you watch.
1. Put three cups of halved nuts in a bowl (I used pecan and walnut halves, but whole almonds work great too).
2. Add 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 stick melted butter, and 1 tsp. salt.
Repeat after me: Do not leave out the salt.
Mix everything up and pour the mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet. (This saves some major messiness!)
3. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove and stir well, put them back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes more. (Caution! These times might need to be adjusted based on your individual oven. Walnuts have more oil than pecans and will burn more easily. Careful.)
I can't find the picture I took of them all nice and pretty in a bowl. Or maybe I ate them all before I got them in a bowl. I am somewhat fuzzy on the sequence of events leading up to the missing
Add these to a pretty salad of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced green onions, and blue cheese.
Top it all off with a vinaigrette of olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, a little chopped fresh rosemary and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.