Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Raspberry Salad

Sometimes recipes live up to their advance publicity, and sometimes they don't. It's a lesson learned the hard way. My friend Penny told me I just had to try her deviled eggs, then she shared that the peculiar brown bits mixed with the yolks were ground-up peanuts. I'm usually game for something new, but I just couldn't abide that. I waited 'til Peggy's attention was diverted and then hid that poor egg in my napkin.

Although my friend Lynn is quite a cook, I was a bit dubious when she raved about THE Raspberry Salad. She's made it for birthday parties, potlucks and office events. I had to have a baby to rate THE Raspberry Salad and I will admit that the salad certainly lived up to its advance publicity. I managed to get the recipe from her, and essentially it's a green salad with cheese and nuts and a first-rate raspberry vinaigrette. The key to this salad is really the dressing - it makes a lot, so just put the remainder in a screwtop jar in the fridge - it keeps for several weeks. I like this salad best in the fall, but it's quite nice in the winter, as well.

THE Raspberry Salad
2 bunches Bibb lettuce
1 bunch red leaf lettuce
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1 bunch purple grapes, sliced in half

2 tbsp raspberry jam or preserves (try to find w/o seeds)
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dry mustard

In a food processor, mince onion with sugar. Add preserves, vinegar, salt and mustard and process. Slowly add oil and process until emulsified.

This is the recipe as it was given to me. I like to use romaine lettuce for the greens. I found raspberry balsamic vinegar & it was fine. Instead of a regular onion, I've successfully used green onions and leeks.

This is just an observation, but this salad is very popular with men, must be the sweet/tart thing. I know that it is my DH's favorite salad and is frequently requested. To make it kid-friendly, I just spread out the accessories - cheese, nuts, and grapes and let the girls dip them in the dressing.

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