The Pantry: Mesclun Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

It’s been more than a month since I first mentioned this particular dish, so I’m thinking it’s past time for me to spiff up the hard copy and just get this out there.  I don’t know what’s taken me so long–it’s one of my favorite salads on the planet and it’s so incredibly easy.  The greatest thing about it is that while it’s a great accompaniment to any elegant dinner– it makes a damn tasty main dish when topped with grilled chicken or steak.

Don’t believe me?  Try it for yourself.

Mesclun Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

2 bags mixed Mesclun Greens, rinsed

1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

1 qt. strawberries, washed and sliced

3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted

3 heaping tbsp dried cranberries

3 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled (optional)

balsamic vinaigrette

 

Directions:

1.  In a large salad bowl, combine the salad greens,   mandarin oranges, strawberries, pecans, and cranberries.  Toss gently.

2.  If you know your guests will love it, mix the blue cheese and a very little bit of the vinaigrette into the salad.  Me, I know we have very picky people out there among our friends and family, so I put the blue cheese in a dish with a spoon (hey diddle, diddle), and let the guests sprinkle their own cheese over the salad if they wanted it.  I also let them add the vinaigrette on their own.

Feel free to use your favorite vinaigrette.  I have a feeling this would even be good with the Italian dressing I have in the ‘fridge right now.

Servings: 20 small salad plates.  If you’re making this for only a few people, I’d half or third the recipe.  Or you could just take the basic ingredients and mix it up to suit your tastes.  You’re the one who’s going to eat it, right?

 

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