I’m a sucker for a salad. They are so pretty and versatile! I love all the juicy morsels doused in dressing and the crunch from the fresh lettuce. As someone who likes to experiment in the kitchen, salads are a lot of fun to play with. There really is no wrong way to make a salad; there are so many flavorful combinations. One of my favorites is a cranberry, blue cheese, and candied pecan salad made with spring mix. It can act as a meal on it’s own or accompany a star piece of meat. Here’s how to make it:
Start with a fresh bag of spring mix.
Add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. There really is no right or wrong proportion here. Add as much or as little as you like. Cooking begins as following a recipe, but as you become more comfortable and familiar with taste combinations, you’ll give yourself more freedom in adding and subtracting ingredients.
Cut a bunch of grapes lengthwise and toss them in. Why do I do this? Why don’t I cut them horizontally? I don’t know. It doesn’t make a bit of difference, really. I probably do this because I’m super paranoid that my kid will choke on one. I’ve already had to do the Heimlich on two of my children. One for a Costco hotdog and another for string cheese. Not my idea of fun, folks. But hey, cut your grapes how you like! Good grief, I sound like a public service announcement.
Now for these beauties! Candied pecans are absolutely irresistible in both this salad and straight out of the bag. You will need to hide these from the kids. Hide them from your spouse. Heck, you’ll probably need to hide them from yourself. Pour out half the bag and break them into bite-sized pieces. If you have a hard time finding them, I usually get mine at Trader Joe’s. But you can also get them online if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you.
Next comes the blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. I usually put about 2-3 ounces of blue cheese crumbles, or half the container. The dressing I just sprinkle on as I’m ready to toss it together. Trader Joe’s balsamic vinaigrette is my absolute favorite. I have tried a lot and I always revert to this one. It is the perfect blend of tang and sweet. I could probably drink it. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, I’m sorry. You should start a petition to get one in your town! It really is one of the best stores!
And there she is! What a beauty! This cranberry, blue cheese, and candied pecan salad goes great with a grilled steak, a bowl of broccoli cheese soup, or next to a cranberry orange muffin. What will you try it with?
- 1 bag spring mix
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup grapes cut lengthwise
- 4 oz chopped candied pecans
- 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
- Balsamic vinaigrette to taste
- Put all ingredients into a bowl
- Toss with dressing when ready to eat