Friday, July 29, 2011

What's for Dinner?

I don't mean to brag or anything, but I made up the best salad.  If there were A National Salad contest, I would enter this one.

We eat a lot of salads, so I kind of know what I'm talking about.   We get about 3 heads of lettuce plus a bag of mixed greens (plus spinach, sometimes) every week from our farm share, and we need to eat a whole pile of it every night in order to not waste.  I've experimented a lot this summer, but this is the magical combo. 

First, you have to make a batch of these spicy-candied pecans.  A handful of these babies makes every salad better.  They are so good you'll have to slap your husband's hand away from your stash.  I used to make these all the time, (and talk about them all the time) and then I kind of forgot about them for a while, and now they are back. 

Here is what you do: 

Spicy Pecans (slightly altered, but originally from Cooking Light)

Take 1/3 cup of pecan halves.   Rinse them off in a strainer (just to get them wet so all the dry stuff sticks to them).  Then toss them in a bowl with 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon).  Go ahead and triple the recipe... you might as well trust me on this one.

I have found that I can mess around with the spice mix... add some cumin, some pepper, eliminate anything you don't have.

Toss them all together, arrange on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and then bake at 350 for 10 minutes. 

Learn from my mistake:  If you let them cool on the pan, you'll have to use a knife to unstick them later, so get them off the pan while they are hot.  Put them on some parchment paper, or onto a cutting board or something.  Let them cool.  Then either serve them whole or coursly chop them for salads. 

My Best Salad Ever:  Greens tossed with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette, topped with spicy pecans, roasted sweet potatoes (still warm!) and some dollops of goat cheese. 

This is, as you can see, a huge plate of salad and serves as a highly satisfying dinner.   

Make it!


Danielle said...

Just bought the ingredients to make the salad! Yum! Also, I have stuck with the green monster smoothies post -cfc. Love them!