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Sophisticated Salad – (submitted by Mimi Tripodi)
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 2/3 cup port wine
- 10 – 12 oz thinly sliced bacon
- 3 shallots, finely chopped about 1/2 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbs sugar
- salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup toasted pine nuts
- 8 oz blue cheese, crumbled
Combine cherries and wine in small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes or until cherries swell, do not drain. Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, crumble and chill until serving time. Drain off all but 1 tbs of bacon drippings from the skillet. Cook shallots and garlic in drippings for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Carefully add olive oil, vinegar, and sugar. Cook and stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in undrained cherries. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Dressing can be made ahead and refrigerated until serving time; bring to room temp before serving.
When ready to serve, tear salad greens into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add pine nuts. Pour dressing over greens and toss to blend. Top salad with blue cheese and bacon.