Monday, December 17, 2007

holiday salad

i am a salad lover. when i find a good salad, i eat it to death. i came up with this one a year ago. i had to do the salad for thanksgiving, and i wanted it to be different and feel holidayish. it was a take on one i had at my in laws at a church social. this can be used as the main dish with a warm crusty bread, or as the star of a beautiful traditional holiday meal. it has a rich flavor to it, enjoy!
the dressing is a key star here. you use this (good seasons - italian) and use balsalmic vinegar instead of regular, (the instructions are on the box) and 5-6 raspberries. it is best if left overnight.

there are a lot of ingredients here, so be patient - it is so worth it.
-greens of your choice, i like to mix an organic spring mix with some romaine.
-avacado - diced with some lemon juice over top to keep from browning (tip- cut avacado in half(remove pit by securing a knife in the pit and pulling out) and cube while inside the peel - cut crosswise and then lengthwise, squirt lemon juice over top and then spoon out. this is a super fast easy way to handle an avacado
-grapefruit - in small bite size sections
-gorgonzola cheese
-shrimp, cooked and cut into tiny bite size pieces (if you want to marinate them in some of the salad dressing before, it adds more flavor)
-sugared pecans - i like to fill a cooking pan with white sugar, cover the pan, and wait until the sugar turns to caramel, a beautiful golden color. then add your pecans and coat with the caramel. lay them out on a plastic surface or a nonstick surface - i usually use a large lid to one of my plastic bowls. let this cool for a bit and then break the pieces into small bits. you can also use store bought sweetened nuts to save on time.
-red onions diced ever so small so there is only a subtle hint of onion in any given bite.

you can garnish this salad with whole shrimp on the edges of the salad, also avacado slices would be great too. let guests spoon salad dressing to their liking, it is a rich dressing. ENJOY!