cranberry, pecan, and feta salad with blueberry vinaigrette

salad 2Without further ado, here is the final recipe from the above plate – a nice spring mix with some add-ins and a blueberry vinaigrette. Everything on the plate was wonderful (try the flank steak and Brussels sprouts, you won’t be disappointed), but I was especially happy with the blueberry vinaigrette.  I don’t make my own dressing very often, and this is something I’ve been meaning to rectify. It’s not hard to whip up salad dressing from all sorts of fresh ingredients, I just always seem to forget how easy it is.

Conceptually, this salad is a cross between one we served as part of our wedding dinner and one I had at a quaint little cafe near the Mississippi River.   I sorted through various recipes for vinaigrette made with fruit, and the dressing I produced is a mash-up of a few of those (this has lately been my go-to method of deciding on a recipe for anything – mix different parts of three or four recipes together and see what happens!).  The dressing is tart and slightly sweet and pairs beautifully with the dried cranberries, pecans, and a mellow sheep’s milk feta.  You could probably add goat cheese instead of feta and still have a tremendous salad.

IMG_4768

Cranberry, Pecan, and Feta Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

Yields 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1 (10-oz.) bag of mixed salad greens (sweet baby lettuces work)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 to 4 ounces feta, crumbled

Blueberry Vinaigrette

2/3 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated onion powder
5/8 cup olive oil (just go with it)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place pecans on a baking sheet or pie pan and place in the oven.  Toast pecans until warm and slightly browned, about three to four minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. For the dressing, place all ingredients into a food processor except the olive oil.  Blend, slowly pouring olive oil into the mixture; continue blending until mixed. Dressing may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
  3. Place salad greens, cranberries, and cooled pecans in a large bowl and gently toss together.
  4. Serve with feta and dressing. (We like to add these separately, instead of dressing the entire salad, in case there are leftovers).
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Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. any night flank steak | Not a Farm Girl - May 23, 2013

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