You know how there are some recipes that have been around forever in your family… but you’ve never taken the time to write them down and save them properly? This is one of those recipes. I’m pretty sure I got the idea of this recipe from someone back in my days of teaching elementary school, but I really have no idea who shared it. We’ve been enjoying it for years in my house. It’s a simple salad, really, with simple ingredients. But it’s delicious and satisfying enough to have for lunch, and it’s quick-to-prepare too. And if you happen to be going to a potluck sort-of event, it’s “gourmet” enough to share this: Easy Gourmet Salad
What makes it “gourmet?” Well, there are a few add-ins that make it special: sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, golden raisins and toasted pine nuts… oh yeah., and a simple, homemade salad dressing.
Start with mixed greens- any sort. You can use a bag, or you can use 6 handfuls that you picked up at your local Farmer’s Market.
Add a large chopped carrot.
Then add chopped red bell pepper. Or yellow, or orange or green.
Sprinkle in chopped green onions.
Add chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil (but drained). I suppose you could use regular ol’ cherry tomatoes here, but the sundried ones really give this salad a gourmet- punch.
Mix in some golden raisins too. The raisin-HATER in me says this is all wrong, but since I’ve eaten this salad like 40 dozen times, I know that they totally work in this salad and they’re part of what makes it yummy.
Feta cheese crumbles are added in next.
And finally add in your toasted pine nuts. I know pine nuts are super duper expensive, so I wouldn’t be upset you if you wanted to add in toasted almonds or pecans instead.
I was quoted in a newspaper article recently that I thought you should never buy salad dressing at the store, and that’s pretty much how I feel. Its SOOO much better when you make it at home, and it’s really easy to make too. The super simple dressing you’ll be whipping up for this salad is a mixture of white wine vinegar + olive oil + Dijon + raspberry jam + Italian seasoning and S&P. Toss it with the salad and you’re good to go with a “Gourmet-Like” salad to share! And if you have the luck that I’ve had over the years, I think you’ll find that this salad recipe is quite a hit with everyone who tries it. Have a great week everyone!
Easy Gourmet Salad
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 min
1 bag mixed greens (or 6 handfuls of greens)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper (seeds & ribs removed) chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil (drained)
1/3 cup golden raisins
4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
1/4 to 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (see tips)
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place greens in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients.
2. To prepare the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour over the salad and toss (maybe use a little at a time until you have a desired amount of dressing). Serve immediately.
*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use brands of Dijon and jam that are known to be GF.
*To toast the pine nuts, heat a skillet to medium. Add the pine nuts to the pan and stir often until they begin to turn golden. Remove the pine nuts to a bowl or a paper towel to cool.
Other easy salad recipes on the blogs that you might enjoy:
Easy Caesar Salad with Butter Croutons by Inspired Taste
Quick and Easy White Bean Salad by Simply Recipes
Easy Spinach Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod
Easy Breezy Roast Vegetable Salad by Weelicious
Easy Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing by Kalyn’s Kitchen