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Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

Does your romaine lettuce have e.coli??  aww sad…poor you!  However will you be able to eat salad?  Oh wait…I can help!  How about a Baby Spinach Arugula salad with little fingerling potatoes, fresh spring green beans, walnuts, and a lemon yogurt dressing!

I originally made this salad as part of my Mom’s birthday feast.  My mom was born on Earth Day (April 22).  She dislikes the taste of meat.  And she loves vegetables and all things green.  So what better than to have a green birthday dinner feast complete with several courses of all things green.  (Pistachio Strawberry Trifle and Pesto Pasta w/ Peas, Pignoli & Parmesan coming atcha soon!)

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Wow.  I’ve been surfing the internet looking for inspiration for new recipes…wow…there are a lot of awesome food blogs out there.  I am humbled…but then again, I’m just a poor college student living on a budget and cooking for fun.  So I guess I don’t feel too bad about the poor quality of this blog.  Because, as much as I am lacking now, I still remember the first time I ever tried to cook dinner for my family.  What a disaster.  Baking was easy but cooking was a whole other monster…learning how to have two things going on the stove at the same time and keeping it from burning took a lot of practice.  My brother still makes fun of me about it all.the.time.

For a project for my high school French class, we had to cook a three course french dinner for our families and journal the entire process.  I chose to make French Onion Soup, Ratatouille, and Chocolate Mousse.   All three dishes were catastrophes but the worst was the French Onion Soup.  Beef broth, onions, some seasonings…sounds easy, right?  How could one mess this up?  That’s what I thought!  But then again, I also thought that the order ingredients were listed in recipes were arbitrary and you could just dump stuff in whenever.  So, instead of adding flour to butter and making a roux at the very beginning of cooking, I added flour at the very end – after the broth.  What resulted was giant lumps of flour floating all around my soup instead of the smooth creamy texture you normally get from roux based soups.  Upon serving it to my family, they pretended to enjoy my horrible soup until my jerk brother pointed out the obvious and ridiculed my abilities to no end.   It wasn’t until winter break 2009 that I had recovered enough from this traumatic incident to attempt French Onion soup again.  But this time, it was wonderful.  Hmm…maybe this will be a future recipe post….

If you’ve ever had Caprese Salad before, it’s normally just tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil – classic Italian flavor combo.  In an effort to add more flavor and depth into this dish, I decided to roast the tomatoes and top everything with a pesto.  The result is well worth the extra effort.

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Love this salad! It combines all my favorite things…fruit, nuts, and cheese.

::COMPONENTS::

Pear
Dried Cranberries
Pecans (Walnuts or Almonds would also be good)
Goat Cheese (my personal favorite but you could also use blue cheese)
Apple Cider
Brown Sugar
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper for dressing
Salad greens

To roast the pears, peel the pears and slice them in half lengthwise.  Scoop the core out with a melon-baller or spoon (this is where the cheese filling will go).  Shave a small slice off of the rounded side of the pear so it will sit flat in the pan for roasting.  Lay the pears core side up in a small baking dish.

Mix in a small bowl the cranberries, nuts, and cheese.  Divide the mixture among the pear halves and fill the pear cavities.

In a bowl, mix together 1/2 c Apple Cider and 2 tbs brown sugar.  Stir to dissolve the sugar and then pour over pears.

Bake the pears in a 375º F oven for 25-30 min, basting the pears every 10 min with the cider mixture.

After baking, set the pears aside to cool.  To make a dressing, whisk together 1/4 c of the remaining cider mixture, 1/4 c lemon juice, 1/3 c olive oil, and salt and pepper.

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