If someone tells you that I’ve been looking a little blue lately………..
Don’t worry!! It’s not my mental state, but it just might be that they’ve noticed a strange hue to my skin!! You see, I’ve been consuming tons of delicious blueberries lately. With sale prices like $1.25 a pint this past week, I just haven’t been able to help myself from indulging in these scrumptious little azure jewels! I wasn’t planning for it to be “Blueberry Week” at The Café, but I just realized that I’ve been posting blueberry recipes for the last three days! So, I now make the official declaration, albeit a little late: “It’s Blueberry Week at The Café Sucré Farine!!!!!”
This recipe was inspired by one of my friends at work. I have been a mother-baby nurse for the past twenty-five years at the same fine hospital here in North Carolina. I have an amazing group of co-workers who are extremely hard working, supportive, fun and well……………. just some of the nicest people you could ever meet!
One night last week I was working with Tricia, a long time friend and fellow RN. We work the twelve hour night shift and often in the wee hours of the night when our work is caught up, we keep ourselves awake chatting about this, that and everything! Often the subject turns to one of my favorite topics………… you guessed it – FOOD!! This particular evening we were talking about salads and Tricia told me about a wonderful salad that she used to get at a little café close to her home that’s no longer in business. As she described it, I got the idea to recreate her memorable green delight and surprise her with it. My culinary imagination got going and this delicious salad is the result. Tricia loved it and so did we!! With blueberries in full season right now (and cheap!) you will want to give this recipe a try. – I have a feeling that, just like Tricia, you won’t be able to forget this yummy salad. Oh, and if anyone asks you if you’re feeling a little blue this week, just blame it on The Café!!!!
A few notes:
This is delicious either as a side salad or as a meal with grilled chicken, shrimp, pork, tenderloin, etc..
When I was purchasing my lettuce for the salad, the prettiest, freshest greens were the bags of butter lettuce, but feel free to exchange your favorite greens or whatever looks the best (or is on sale!) at the market.
1 6.5 ounce bag butter lettuce or your favorite greens
½ cup small fresh basil leaves, if leaves are large tear into bite size pieces
1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
1 cup blueberries, washed and dried
1/2 cup sweet onion, slice thin
½ cup blue cheese, for great tip on blue cheese see this post
⅓ cup raspberry preserves
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine or apple juice
2 teaspoons coarse mustard
1 cup pecan halves
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 250˚.For pecans, combine nuts, oil and sea salt in a small pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
2. For dressing place preserves in medium bowl. Stir in rice vinegar, cider vinegar, wine and mustard. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. For salad, arrange lettuce, basil, strawberries, blueberries, blue cheese and sweet onion on four salad plates. Drizzle with dressing. Scatter pecans over salads. Pass extra dressing at the table.