We have been inspired to eat salads lately, thanks to our friend, Pam. She makes the most amazing salads! Actually she’s a wonderful cook and I can really learn a few things from her. Her Brazilian dishes are the best!
We have been buying the huge box of Spring Mix salad from Costco and have been putting my OXO salad spinner to good use! When we make salads, it is pretty much a team effort. I wash the greens, cut up and prep any additional ingredients, and AM makes the dressing. For some godforsaken reason I cannot make a decent salad dressing. It is quite frustrating.
It’s also peach season and we picked up a box of Strawberry Heirloom peaches from Costco (where else?). They are still a bit raw but very sweet. Somewhere in the back of my head, I had an idea for adding peaches to our salad tonight. I did some googling and decided on cooking the peaches to soften them up and get them plumped up a bit. While googling, a few recipes for peach salad with pecans came up. Since we only had walnuts at home, I thought, why not make some candied walnuts? Brilliant!
The different flavors and textures worked extremely well together! What success! I wish I could be this brilliant all the time. HA!
AM is a true cook and I’m more of a baker. His cooking methodology is to take a bunch of ingredients and throw them together without really measuring anything. I think he would do well on a show like Chopped on the Food Network where the contestants are given a basket of mystery ingredients that don’t always sound like they would go well together and a lot of times the ingredients are rare and exotic. Me on the other hand would totally panic under those circumstances and demand a recipe with all the measurements spelled out. In any case, I will estimate the amounts for his dressing but really you should taste it and add ingredients to your palate’s liking.
(Adapted from epicurious.com)
Cooking oil spray (I used canola oil spray)
2 cups walnuts
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Spray oil on a baking sheet.
3. In a bowl, mix walnuts, honey, sugar, and salt.
4. Spread the walnut mixture on the baking sheet.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the sugars bubble and the walnuts brown.
6. When the walnuts are cooling on the baking sheet, make sure to stir around with a wooden spoon so they do not stick to the baking sheet. If the walnuts stick after they are cooled, use a metal knife and carefully scrape the walnuts off the baking sheet.
(My own recipe)
1 large peach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Remove the pit from the peach and cut the peach into wedges
2. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
3. When the pan is hot, saute the peaches for about 5-10 minutes. This time depends on how ripe your peaches are. Since my peach was not that ripe, I cooked the wedges longer.
AM’S BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
(AM’s own recipe)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon thyme
1. Stir all ingredients together.
2. Mix into salad.