04 June, 2010

Almond Gouda Salad with Lemon Poppy Vinaigrette

My husband, the meat-and-potatoes guy, lived on a very limited diet before we started dating.  He had a bowl of mini-wheats for breakfast, a turkey sandwich and an apple or a few carrots for lunch, and can of soup for dinner.  He was not exactly a fan of the amazing concoction that is SALAD.  I'm happy to say we've managed to change a lot of his eating habits, perhaps the most dramatic of which is his love of a good salad.  Some seem to think that a salad is nothing more than lettuce and dressing with a few croutons dropped on top.  I say, let your freak salad flag fly!  Why not load up your salad with every delicious thing you can?  And for that matter, your salad dressing too!

This is a recipe that I came up with when confronted with a nearly empty bag of almonds and a small piece of aged Gouda in my cheese drawer.

Almond Gouda Salad
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 2 oz aged Gouda, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 c almonds
  • 1 tomato, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 c mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Place your almonds on a tray in your toaster oven and toast for about two minutes.  Chop them roughly.

Rinse your lettuce thoroughly, and shred it into a bowl.  The goal with your lettuce should be that you can easily fit the pieces into your mouth.  I recommend shredding over chopping because torn edges take longer to wilt and brown, meaning that you'll have better leftovers.

Add all your other ingredients into the salad, and dress with...

Lemon Poppy Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1.5 Tbs lemon curd
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix the poppy seeds into the vinegar, and allow to sit for about five minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients, and whisk thoroughly.

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