Sunday, October 2, 2011

Think pink...and green for the Salad that Men Love

Green salad with raspberries, toasted pecans, Vermont cheddar, raspberries and raspberry vinaigrette.
Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
I'm thinking pink and green this month, for women's health and for the men in our lives. For California Giant Berries' Think Pink promotion for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I created a salad using healthful, anti-oxidant- rich pink raspberries, those plump nuggets of Vitamin C; red and green leaf lettuce; toasted pecans and Vermont cheddar cheese, dressed with a divine raspberry vinaigrette.

This is a riff on a recipe given to me by my friend Lynn, who brought the salad to me when my daughter was born. I couldn't get enough of it; my husband devoured it. I've made it for family gatherings since and the men always like it. That's right. Men. Liking Salad.

My husband says its magic has to do with the sweet and tart salad dressing. I think it has to do with all the goodies in it - you can hardly go wrong with fresh berries, creamy cheese and toasty, rich nuts sprinkled over crisp greens.

The keys to this salad are fresh raspberries and the dressing - it makes a lot, so just put the remainder in a screwtop jar in the fridge - it keeps for several weeks.

Pink and Green Salad
(Green Salad with Raspberries, Toasted Pecans,
 Vermont Cheddar and Raspberry Vinaigrette)

1 bunch green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

1 bunch red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

8 ounces Vermont cheddar, shredded

1 cup pecans, toasted in a closely watched skillet for five minutes

1 pint fresh raspberries


1 bunch green onions, cleaned and trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths

2 tablespoons raspberry preserves (such as Polaner's)

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

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

2. In a bowl or on individual plates, arrange greens, raspberries and pecans. Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette and shredded cheese.

To make it kid-friendly, I just spread out the accessories - cheese, nuts, and berries and give the girls small bowls of the raspberry vinaigrette and let them dip. As my six year old says, "Raspberry vinaigrette? That sounds like vinegar for girls."

"Like" California Giant's Facebook page to help spread the word about Breast Cancer Awareness.

And if you haven't made the appointment for your annual visit and mammogram, pick up the phone and do it right now. There are a lot of people counting on you to stay healthy!

(Guys, of course, are excused from this particular plea, but please encourage the women in your lives to take care of themselves. Make the appointment and drive her there, if you have to. Buy her lunch and bring her flowers. It's that important.) 

Raspberries. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this post. It is an entry in a contest sponsored by California Giant. If my post is chosen as the winner, then a $100 donation will be made on behalf of my blog to the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Awesome!

Text and images copyright 2011, Lucy Mercer.

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