Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mom's Sweet and Tangy Salad

Sweet raspberry dressing, tangy blue cheese, tart dried cranberries, and salty french fried onions create the perfect flavor combination in this easy and versatile salad!

I'm so excited to share this salad with you all! It's about as easy as it gets, but there's something special about the flavor combinations happening here. It's inspired by a salad my mother in law makes. The ingredients aren't exotic or anything, but I wouldn't have known they played so well together until I TASTED it.

The most important components are the raspberry dressing, blue cheese, dried cranberries, and the french fried onions. The dressing gives an undeniable sweetness to the salad, but it's balanced with the tangy and savory blue cheese, the salty french fried onions, and the tart dried cranberries! The combination is truly perfect. All the right notes are hit!

As far as additions and substitutions, there are tons of options! My mother in law adds bacon (which is never a bad idea) and sunflower seeds. We oftentimes add grilled chicken breast when we're eating this salad as a dinner. Gorgonzola is wonderful in place of blue cheese, and feta will work as well, although I think the "stinky" component of blue and Gorgonzola helps balance the sweet ingredients. Fresh raspberries, strawberries, or even peaches would be great!

I personally like the "basics" of the salad to be on the mild side to let the other flavors shine, which is why I like romaine, tomato, and cucumber here, but feel free to put your spin on it! And the quantities listed below are really just guidelines; salad proportions are totally personal preference!




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Mom's Sweet and Tangy Salad
Sweet raspberry dressing, tangy blue cheese, tart dried cranberries, and salty french fried onions create the perfect flavor combination in this easy and versatile salad!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp raspberry salad dressing (I like Ken's Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette)
  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp french fried onions
  • 1/4 cucumber (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • 1 tomato (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/3 cup croutons
Instructions
1. Rinse and chop the cucumber, tomato, and lettuce.2. Mix all ingredients together, and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 lunch/dinner sized salad or 3 side salads


This is the most difficult part of the recipe: chopping veggies! Clearly, this salad is a wonderful weeknight dinner because it takes almost no effort! Hot house (or English) cucumbers are my favorite because they're seedless and the skin isn't waxy like normal cucumbers! They're a little more expensive, but it's a price worth paying for me.

Maybe the proper "foodie" thing to do would be to make my own raspberry dressing here, but this stuff is so good! And it's what I really use and love when I make this salad. It's sweet, but not TOO sweet. If you know of a good recipe for raspberry dressing, please pass it along! I'd love to try making some myself. In the meantime, this is my jam.

Mix it aaaaaaall up.


And dig in! I hope you all love this salad as much as we do. It's not rocket science, but it's one of my favorites! Enjoy!

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