California Central Coast Recipes
Tradewinds Salad- A delightful mix of ingredients from California
We call this salad Tradewinds because it's a delightful mix of ingredients originally from all over the world! Crumbled Blue cheese from Europe, an Herb-mix of salad greens from Salinas-the "salad bowl" of the nation, Toasted Almonds and Asparagus from here in Central California, and Cranberries from the northern parts of the U.S. East Coast, all with a Light Lemon Vinaigrette with Mexican Blue Agave Sweetener and Basil
What’s not to like? Even friends of ours who usually decline helpings of salad, had seconds—and thirds of this marvelous combination of complementary flavors. This salad is practically guaranteed to carry the dinner hour even if you have only a modest main course offered. And another nice feature of this salad, you can make the dressing and prepare the toppings hours in advance.
It’s now our favorite salad! —-Though we have to make sure we don’t go overboard and have it too often—-then it won’t seem like the special treat it is!
You surely must try this latest sure-fire salad-sensation!
Note* Mexican Blue Agave sweetener is usually found in the same grocery aisle as honey.
Preparation time: 5 minutesCooking time:
1 lb. Raw Asparagus coarse bottoms trimmed off, then rinsed well
1/3 cup Lemon Juice
2 to 3 Tablespoons Water
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 to 2 Tablespoons Mexican Blue Agave Sweetener
1 to 2 teaspoons Dried Basil leaves
Salt and Black pepper to taste.
Packaged Dried Cranberries and Toasted Nuts
4 oz. Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 For the asparagus, put a large pan filled with hot water and bring to a boil over high heat.
2 Cut stalks into 1-inch lengths. When the water-pot is boiling, add in the cleaned asparagus and bring back to a boil. Boil the asparagus 2-3 minutes-or until tender with still a nice crunch. (Test every 30 seconds.) When tender, drain into a colander and rinse in cold water. Then let drain on paper towels and refrigerate.
3 In the meantime in a 2-cup glass measuring cup using a fork to stir together, add in the lemon juice, the water, the olive oil, the agave, the dried (or fresh if you have it on hand!) basil—while tasting and correcting according to personal tastes. Then correct seasoning with salt and pepper.
4 Finally do your final salad toss, then sprinkle on top of the greens the cooled-or chilled- cut asparagus, crumbled Blue Cheese, the cranberries, the nuts and voila' you’re about ready for “showtime!”
Serve with a nice bottle of chilled white wine such as Sea Stone Cellars Silhouette or a Sauvignon Blanc.