BABY BLEU SALAD
RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF FRANKLIN BIGGS
ALSO PUBLISHED BY SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE IN 2006
For ease, make the Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans and Balsamic Vinaigrette ahead of time.
Yield: 4 servings
2 (5-ounce) bags mixed spring salad greens
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and quartered
1 cup Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans, recipe follows:
Yield: Makes about 1 cup
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup warm water
1 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
Stir together ¼ cup of the sugar and the warm water until sugar dissolves. Add pecans; soak 10 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.
Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, chili powder, and red pepper in a large bowl. Add the pecans and toss to coat well. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake pecans for 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through.
Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe follows:Yield: about 2 cups
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 small shallots, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together first 7 ingredients (vinegar through pepper) in a large bowl until blended. Gradually whisk in olive oil, blending well.
Vinaigrette can be used immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Toss together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with ¾ cup of the Balsamic Vinaigrette, gently tossing to coat. Serve with remaining vinaigrette, if desired.