Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pear Pecan Salad with Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette

Featured Pantry/Food Storage Items: Canned Pears, Vinegar and Nuts.

Pantry Storage Suggestion: Stock up on an extra bag of nuts this grocery tip.

This is going to be a special post with three recipes. Why am I feeling so generous? Frankly, I am so busy preserving food I only have time to do one post but also because all these recipes go together. They need to be together.

I often question my sanity while in the throes of canning season. "Do I really need all those canned pears?" I ask myself. After stumbling across this salad the other day using some canned pears, all I could think of was maybe I need to do more pears. I restrained myself. I still have so much canning to do, including salsa, which is really a project. Anywho -- I also do canned pears because the difference between home canned pears and store canned pears is laughable. They are so tasty when you do them yourselves. I can my pears in 100% white grape juice. I decided to throw some canned pears in my spinach salad. Garnished by yummy extras and some raspberry vinaigrette, heavenly.

Well, now I decided I needed to make my own raspberry vinegar (I had extra raspberries after two batches of raspberry jam) just so I could make my own vinaigrette all winter. So, I bring you the tasty three recipes that will keep you in delicious salads bright with flavor year round. My daughter, a non salad dressing kind of gal, loves this stuff. She asks for it on everything from her raisins to her spinach.

Raspberry Vinegar.

2 Cups raspberries

1 quart white wine or white vinegar

1/2 Cup sugar

Mash fruit in a large bowl. Put crushed fruit, vinegar and sugar into a large nonreactive pot. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until cool. To remove fruit pulp, strain through a cheesecloth lined funnel into glass container. Cap with a nonmetallic lid. I like the new plastic screw on lids for canning jars. If you decide to use a decorative jar make sure it has a plastic or cork lid. The vinegar can be used immediately.

Raspberry Vinaigrette I actually cut the following recipe by 1/3 because the dressing should be used in 7 to 10 days and I am more of a sprinkler than a pourer.

1 1/2 Cup raspberry vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1 TB poppy seeds

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 Cup vegetable oil.

a dash of salt (optional)

Mix raspberry vinegar and sugar in a bowl and let sit until sugar is dissolved. Add poppy seeds and dry mustard and salt. Mix well. Whisk in oil and whisk until well combined. Chill and serve.

Pear Pecan Salad There are no real measurements here because it depends on how many people you are feeding.

Canned pears (I would use 2 halves per person.)

Baby spinach

A handful or two of pecans

1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese chunks per person

herbed croutons

freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Toss and top with Raspberry Vinaigrette.

1 comment:

Miranda said...

This looks awesome. I love a great salad. I could eat a salad for every meal of the day.


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