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by on October 2nd, 2014

Baby Blue Salad

All I can say is yum!

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Baby blue eyes, baby blues? Or it could also be a color of paint or the color of the sky. But in this case, it is a Baby Blue Salad which will either make your baby blue eyes twinkle or make your baby blues go away.

All three of my kids have the bluest, blue eyes I have ever seen. Four out of our five grandsons, Milo, Charlie, Donovan and Thomas inherited those same sparkling blue eyes; and Oliver has eyes the color of chocolate with specks of hazelnuts and espresso and they sparkle just the same. And, what can I say about all these boys but they are the most special thing in our lives.

I love just about any kind of salad and I use to like salad a lot better in restaurants than when I would make them at home; but over the last several years I have ventured out and tried all different sorts of salads and dressings. I have quit buying bottled salad dressing and just whip up something quick with a flavored olive oil and a flavored balsamic vinegar. My new favorite oil which I just bought in Austin is a Mandarin Orange Olive Oil and a grapefruit white balsamic vinegar; the two mixed together with no other ingredients make a wonderful dressing.

This recipe is pretty simple and very colorful with all the fruit in it and the spiced pecans are an extra bonus. If you want to turn this into a main dish salad, add a grilled ribeye steak cut into strips; I then call this salad Black and Blue.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Here’s a Grilled Seafood Salad that would be great anytime of the year. I posted this back in 2011 and so far it’s had almost 1,800 views. 

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Soak the pecans in the sugar water for 10 minutes. (See note at bottom on making these pecans).

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Drain pecans and toss with the sugar and spices.

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Bake in oven, cool and then chop.

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Everything can be prepped in advance; cut the fruit, slice the onions, chop the be cans and slice up the sugar snap peas.

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Mix the baby greens with the thinly sliced red onion.

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Add the fruit and crumbled blue cheese and lightly toss.

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Add the chopped shallots to the dressing.

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Add about 1/3 cup dressing and toss salad. Add in the sliced sugar snap peas and chopped pecans and toss lightly before serving.

Baby Blue Salad

3/4 lb. mixed baby salad greens
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
2 oranges, peeled and cut into thin slices or section the oranges
1 pint strawberries, quartered
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled and cut in slices
handful of sugar snap peas, cut lengthwise
Sweet and Spicy Pecans (recipe below)

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1  1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1  1/2 Tbsp. honey
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
1 small shallot, minced

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette, whisk together the first 6 ingredients until blended. Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Stir in the minced shallot. Yield 3/4 cup. If dressing seems too thick add in a little more oil or 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Toss greens with sliced red onions and the strawberries with some of the Balsamic Vinaigrette and crumbled blue cheese. Place on 6 individual pates. Arrange orange slices over greens, add a few split sugar snap peas and top with Sweet and Spicy Pecans.

Sweet and Spicy Pecans: (*See note below)

1/4 c. sugar
1 c. warm water
1 c. pecan halves
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Stir together the 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup warm water until sugar dissolves. Add pecan halves, and soak 10 minutes. Drain, discarding sugar mixture.

Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, chili powder and red pepper. Add pecans, tossing to coat. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until pecans are golden brown, stirring once. Yield 1 cup.

(Note on pecans:  I didn’t like soaking them in water. It seemed to do something to the texture of the nut. I would suggest tossing the pecans with either 1/4 cup butter or use one egg white beaten until frothy and then toss your pecans, spread on cookie sheet and bake.)

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