05 September 2011

Very Berry Pecan Salad

I'm ready to say goodbye to summer, but before I do I want to share one of my favorite salads. It is super easy and so delicious, especially during berry season.

Sugared pecans give this salad a pleasant surprise. When I first had a similar salad at a restaurant, I searched for a recipe to make these pecans. Everything I found said to toast the nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.) along with some sugar in a pan on the stove. The problem is, the nuts became too caramelized for my liking. Then I found a recipe that used egg whites. Problem solved!! 

Sugared Pecans
  • egg white from one large, or extra large egg
  • 12 ounces pecan pieces (or nut of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
Beat the egg white with a whisk in a medium sized bowl until very frothy. Stir in the nuts and then the sugar. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the nuts look dry. TIP: make a large batch so you can have them on hand. Store in an airtight container.




20 ounce bag of spring mix greens/baby spinach (either or both)
8 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups of berries - any combination of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup of sugared pecans (see above)
Raspberry vinaigrette
(Optional - if desired, you could also add some sliced red onions, diced avocado, or any other fruit of your choice such as diced pineapple of mandarin orange slices).

Clean the greens, if not already pre-washed. At this point, I like to toss the leaves with salad dressing. My favorite is Girard's Light Raspberry Vinaigrette. It's easier to toss this way and you don't run the risk of over dressing. Then I add in the crumbled cheese and toss again. Finally, I add in the fruit and the sugared pecans and toss just slightly. You want to keep these last ingredients mostly on the top.

You can substitute any greens you might have on hand. Crumbled feta cheese can be used in place of the goat cheese, or walnuts instead of pecans. This is more of a dump salad for me. I don't measure anything, just keep adding the various ingredients till it looks like enough! This is an approximation for the recipe, ingredients can be adjusted to your own tastes. If you want to make this into a meal, you could also slice up some rotisserie chicken to put on top.

1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely looking salad and I'm betting it tastes as wonderful as it looks.


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