Monday, December 8, 2008

Arugula Autumn Salad

This is a nice way to use those huge bags of arugula you may be getting in your CSA box (or at the store, or grown in your backyard). Arugula has a different taste, but this salad is a great way to learn to appreciate it. The apples and caramelized pecans help the you not to notice the peppery taste of the arugula as much. I usually make a complete recipe of the pecans and dressing, but only use about 1/2 the arugula, apples, etc that is called for. I put the leftover pecans and dressing in separate containers in the refrigerator which makes the next salad a lot easier!

Carmelized pecans:
Mix together 1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts), 1 T corn syrup, and 1 T sugar. Toast in oven at 350 degrees until sugar begins to melt and nuts are toasted and coated. Watch carefully to avoid burning. After the nuts are done, remove them from baking pan promptly and transfer to parchment (or wax) paper. This will keep the nuts from becoming stuck to the baking pan.

The salad:
Toss together 1-2 thinly sliced tart apples (or pears) and 2 T lemon juice in a bowl. Add 6-8 c arugula (or any other mixed salad greens), 1/2 c Asiago cheese (goat or feta cheese are also good), caramelized pecans, and 1/2 c dried cranberries (optional). Toss gently with dressing (see below for dressing recipe).

Shake together in a jar with a tight lid 1/3 c olive oil, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 T sugar, 2 T lemon juice, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper.

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