A Simple Salad

I’ve made this salad for about twenty five years and it’s always a hit. I got the recipe off a Dole Italian Salad Mix blend, but if you don’t have that, you can just use Romaine and Radicchio or sliced Red Cabbage. If you don’t have Craisins, you can skip that too or substitute another kind of nut for the walnut.

I brought this to my friend Martha’s house the other night to go with the duck, for something fresh and green. I’d intended to put dried cherries in it, as I always think cherries go good with duck, but didn’t get to the grocery store so skipped that part and used pecans instead of walnuts, with blue cheese. Everyone liked the salad and Martha’s housekeeper asked me for the recipe, which is what made me think about sharing it here.

The hardest part of this recipe is roasting the red pepper. You could buy them in a jar, I suppose, but I never do as it’s not that difficult to roast them and who knows what’s in the jarred or canned ones? You could even skip adding them, but the roasted peppers is what makes this salad a little unique. The peppers can be roasted ahead and left in the fridge till ready to assemble. You can either roast them whole, or slice in half, devein and deseed, which I like to do as they don’t need to be rotated during broiling. If you slice them in half, squash them down so they get charred evenly.

To Roast a Pepper:

  1. Preheat Broiler and move oven rack to the highest level.
  2. Deseed and Devein Pepper.
  3. Place on foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Broil until skin is blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it.
  5. Remove from broiler and throw pepper in a paper bag, fold up and wait for 20 minutes.
  6. The bag will steam the pepper, making the skin easy to peel off. Remove all black bits.
  7. Slice pepper into thin strips and store in the refrigerator.

Roasted red peppers can also be used, with some good olive oil, salt and garlic as a dip for bruschetta or pita chips. They are also a welcome addition to sandwiches like tuna or egg salad or chopped up and put in scrambled eggs.

Mediterranean Blue Cheese Salad

1 Package of Dole Italian Special Blends Salad

3/4 cup whole Walnuts, toasted

2/3 cups Craisins

1/2 cup julienne-sliced, drained roasted peppers

1/4 Cup Red Wine vinaigrette Dressing (recipe follows)

1/3 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese or Feta Cheese

  • Toss together salad mix, walnuts, craisins and roasted pepper strips in a medium serving bowl.
  • Pour Pompeian Vinaigrette dressing lightly over salad; toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle blue cheese over salad. Serve at once.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion or shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Combine all ingredients in a shaker bottle and shake well. Makes 3/4 cup.

This might be a simple salad, but it is also a special salad.

A Simple, but delicious Salad

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Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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