Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer in Sicily Salad

I recently tried this salad while visiting my parents in Southern Utah a few weeks back. Whenever my parents know that me and my little family are coming for a visit, they roll out the red carpet for us. My mom especially goes the extra mile and cooks us delicious things to eat while we are there. My mom is one of the best cooks I know and I always look forward to going home for one of her home cooked meals. During our stay, My mom served this light salad. I love that it is versatile and you can use whatever fruits are in season: apples, strawberries, mandarin oranges etc. I also really love the crunch this salad has with the Caramelized nuts that are scattered throughout. The dressing also is tangy, so it is a nice compliment to the caramelized nuts. I love the sweet with the salty. This salad is really easy to make but takes some prep work. All the prep work is worth it though!! Try making this light salad for your next picnic or summer get together.

Summer in Sicily Salad
3/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (must use extra virgin)
1/2 c. Sugar
3-4 cloves of garlic, freshly pressed
1/2 teas. paprika
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. white or black pepper ( I use black because it is what I have on hand)
1 head of Romain lettuce, shredded
1 c. of desired fruit: Sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges(drained), apples, craisins.
Caramelized Nuts

Whisk together the first seven ingredients together. Store the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to use. Meanwhile, wash lettuce leaves and pat dry. Shred lettuce into salad bowl of your choice. Add fruit of your choice and mix around into the lettuce leaves. Add caramelized nuts. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 30 minutes before serving remove dressing from the fridge and let sit at room temperature. Whisk dressing and pour over salad. Enjoy!
* The dressing makes more than enough for this salad, I only use about 1/2 of the dressing to coat the salad. Save the rest of the dressing for those that may want to add more to their salads or keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Caramelized Nuts
2c. pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds
1/3 c. mayo
1/3 c. Brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating up, mix mayo and brown sugar together in small bowl until well combined. Then add nuts and mix until well combined. Spread nuts evenly into a greased 9X13 pan. bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbly and light brown. Let cool for several hours before adding to your salad.


Ashlee, The Culinary Queen


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