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Author Notes: Inspired by a painting with some captivating reds, I conceived this salad. The first versions used walnuts and goat cheese with raspberries and were really nice, but I wanted another layer. The final version evolved with a crowning finish of an aged balsamic vinegar reduced with raspberries. I decided that pecans and blue cheese worked better. So the photos show the states along the way. —Sagegreen
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons linden honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, Meyer preferred
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon milled mixed peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2-1 head of roasted garlic head
- 1/2 cup EVOO, cold first pressed
Salad with red finish
- 6 smallish beets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces baby arugula
- small red onion, half moon paper thin slices
- 1 avocado, diced
- lemon wedge
- 2 ounces shelled pecans
- 5 ounces aged balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces raspberries, divided
- 2 ounces Maytag blue cheese
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- pinch of fresh milled mixed peppercorns
- Ahead of time in a shallow roasting pan, add 2 tbl. of olive oil. Preheat oven to 350. Roll the unpeeled beets and garlic head around in the oil in the pan. Cover and roast for about 45 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted easily into the largest beet. Let cool. Skin the beets then.
- Squish out the contents from the roasted garlic head. Add to a jar. Then combine with the other ingredients from the first dressing. Shake well to create an emulsion. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed for sweetness, saltiness, and acidity.
- Close to serving time combine the arugula, diced beets, onion half rings, diced avocado and about 2 oz. of the fresh raspberries in a large bowl. Adding a tablespoon at a time, lightly dress the salad with the vinaigrette until the arugula leaves are just coated. Do not drown. You may have dressing left over. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Heat a pan and toast the pecans. Set aside. In the same pan add 4 oz of raspberries with the balsamic vinegar on moderately high heat. Reduce by about 1/3.
- Add the toasted pecans and crumpled blue cheese to the salad. Drizzle the warm reduced raspberry balsamic on top of the salad as the final touch with a pinch of pink Himalayan salt and fresh milled peppercorns.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Raspberries