Saturday, May 28, 2011

Green Salad with Grapes and Walnuts




Oh no, not another green salad. Green salads can be so boring, so routine, SO predictable. It’s far too easy to turn out the same version of "The House Green Salad" meal after meal. Not that a plain green salad is bad. No, it’s the lack of any element of surprise that disappoints. So, there is reason to celebrate when you find a green salad that stands out with its difference, whether its a single ingredient or some combination that sets it apart from the ordinary.

Different greens will vary the impact of a salad. I love the peppery bite of arugula, while RL carefully picks it out of any Spring Greens mixture. Dressings are obviously different; even within the family of vinaigrettes the choice of oil may vary the taste. And then there are the toppings and additions, the jewelry of a salad. Some are tasteful adornments, others resemble a jumble of costume jewelry thoughtlessly tossed into the mix.

Green Salad with Grapes and Walnuts has become a favorite for us at lunch and dinner. It is terrific served by itself, or when it accompanies sandwiches or grilled meat and seafood. What else pairs with chicken salad in dainty tea sandwiches as well as with a thick chunk of grilled steak? Add some toasted croutons and cooked shrimp or chicken and it becomes a main dish. Substitute different nuts, add some herbs and it’s still terrific. Try it as written or with your own variations. I predict this will become a favorite in your galley too.




Greens with Grapes and Walnuts
Serves 4 to 6

Dressing:
6 Tbs mild-flavored oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
dash oregano
1/8 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper

Salad:
1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, halved or rough chopped (or pinenuts)
6 to 8 cups torn greens (romaine, spinach, red leaf, etc.)
chopped fresh herbs, like Italian parsley and basil (optional)

Directions:
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a salad bowl or serving bowl. Stir in the grapes and walnuts. Add the greens, toss well but gently, and serve immediately.

Notes:
1. Dried cranberries, presoaked in a bit of juice, can substitute for the grapes; though the effect is different, the taste is pleasant.
2. Add some cooked chicken or seafood to make this a main dish salad.
3. Sprinkle some sugared and spiced whole walnuts on top for a special presentation.   

2 comments:

  1. Yummy! I love the dressing recipe. I think I will try this whole recipe soon.
    Laci

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laci,I'm delighted that you like the recipe. Let me know how it turns out when you try it.

    ReplyDelete

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