Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Salad with Fresh Peaches, Drunken Craisins, Gorgonzola and Roasted Sweet Pistachios

There is nothing as refreshing as a salad for lunch on a hot summer day (and we have plenty of hot summer days in Texas).  I chose this particular salad because it had all the things that my husband loves in a salad, crispy greens, a little fresh and dried fruit, red onion, blue cheese and nuts.  This salad is a positive winner with a nice light vinaigrette to dress it up.

Salad with Fresh Peaches, Drunken Craisins, Gorgonzola, Sweet Roasted Pistachios with Fig and White Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Salad:
6 cups salad greens, whatever looks freshest at the market
Fig and White Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe follows
2 medium ripe peaches
1/2 cup Drunken Cranberries, recipe follows
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
Roasted Sweet Pistachios, recipe follows

For the Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fig preserves
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cranberries:
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon white wine, red wine, Limoncello, or rum

For the Pistachios:
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

To make the Roasted Sweet Pistachios:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place all ingredients in a cake pan or similar size pan.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.  Turn out onto foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Cool, nuts will become crunchy as they cool.

To Make Drunken Cranberries:
Place dried cranberries in a measuring cup.  Add a tablespoon of white or red wine, Limoncello or rum.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 30 seconds.  Let sit for a few minutes to cool.  These will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, just warm in microwave for 20 seconds before using the next time.

To make the Vinaigrette:
Mix all ingredients in a glass jar.  Shake well.

To assemble the salad:
Arrange salad greens, fresh peaches, cranberries and onions on plates.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.  Sprinkle salads with crumbled blue cheese and pistachios.  Pass extra dressing at the table.

Slightly adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine

My rating:

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