We may be nearing the end of the summer season but with the high temperatures and busy back to school regiments, it is definitely not too late to still enjoy a wonderful summer themed salad. As with any salad, there are endless options to engage in to perfectly accommodate your own tastes. You can build off of the base creation I offer to you here today. As always, possessing my basic rule of ‘must have’ characteristics, it is easy, simple, healthy, and reasonable to achieve. Many people would think salads are nothing more than throwing a bunch of vegetables together and drowning them in some dressing. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I will list the raw vegetables to build your salad leaving the hardest part of this creation, (which is not hard at all) making the candied walnuts. For that, I will provide you with the steps to make them, of course.
Ingredients Needed To Make Candied Walnut, Cranberry, And Gorgonzola Salad For Four
- 1 lb. peeled walnuts
- ½ lb. dried cranberries
- 1 ripe pear cut into 1/8 size wedges
- ½ lb. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1 lb. bag of spring mix
- 2 tomatoes cut into 1/8’s wedges
- ¼ lb. shredded carrots
- 1 medium sized cucumber sliced into medallions
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
- 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground red pepper
- ¼ stick of butter
Making Your Candied Walnut, Cranberry, And Gorgonzola Salad
Using a large sauté pan over med-high heat, place your butter in the pan. As it melts, slowly pour in your sugar. As the sugar absorbs into the butter, toss in all of your walnuts. Stirring often, brown your walnuts well and put in the rest of your salt, pepper and red pepper. Once all of the walnuts are browned you may remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Distribute your spring mix evenly into four large salad bowls. Arrange evenly around the sides of the bowls all of the tomatoes and cucumbers. Next spread your shredded carrot over top of each bowl followed by the walnuts, cranberries, and gorgonzola cheese. Top off each bowl with a couple slices of pear placed right in the middle.
You may add to your salad as you see fit. I recommend balsamic vinaigrette or raspberry vinaigrette although a blue cheese dressing will work well also.
Enjoy and happy eating.