Last week we visited family out-of-state (and had a blast!).
My mom and 5 of my 6 sisters were there, so inevitably we spent some time in the kitchen.
One of my sisters reminded me of my Maplewood Salad, and suggested I do a blog post on it.
I came up with this recipe about 4 years ago. I think it was one of those "necessity is the mother of invention" things that often comes about when you create a dish out of whatever you have on hand. It was an instant hit, and I even submitted it to an online recipe contest sponsored by Dole, where it was a finalist.
What makes this salad unique is the perfect sweet-salty combination that is the result of toasted, salted pecans and a dressing that includes maple syrup! The addition of crunchy celery, sweetened dried cranberries, and salty mozzarella creates a truly delicious salad experience that is always a crowd-pleaser.
Here is the ingredient round-up. I have swapped toasted, salted sunflower seeds for the pecans in the past, which is yummy as well.
Chop your pecans roughly. I wanted to show this so you knew not to have too small pecan pieces.
Heat oven to 350°. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Spread the pecans on the pan, then spray the pecans with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Chop celery to about the same size as the pecans.
Put salad greens, celery, cheese, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans in a salad bowl.
This is the big secret ingredient that "makes" this salad--the maple dressing. Whisk together 1/4 cup mayonaise with 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
Toss and serve! I love it when salads are yummy AND pretty!
6-8oz green salad mix (Baby Spinach, Romaine, Arugula, etc)
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Put salad mix in a large salad bowl.
3. Roughly chop pecan halves. They should be in pieces approximately 1/3 the size of a pecan half.
4. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread chopped pecans on the baking sheet, then spray cooking spray over the top of the pecans. Sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
6. Chop celery into pieces about the same size as the pecan pieces.
7. Toss cooled pecans, celery, cranberries, and cheese with the salad mix.
8. In a small bowl or measuring dish, whisk the mayonaise and syrup together until well incorporated. Pour over salad mix and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
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