A perfect salad to begin a meal with or piled on a dinner sized plate next to a crusty baguette or hot cup of creamy soup. This salad is perfect year round and lends itself to many variations. All butter lettuce makes for a wonderful delicate salad, but peppery arugula also works well with this sweeter, flavorful vinaigrette. Sliced persimmons, pears or apples are lovely additions, and glazed or spiced walnuts are a great substitution for the pecans.
If raw red onion offends you like it does my husband, you can tone down the bite of the onion by soaking the slices in a bowl of ice water for 5-10 minutes before draining and adding to the salad. He doesn’t know I do this from time to time, but I can assure you that he doesn’t pick out so many onions when I take the time to do this extra step. Now that’s love, especially when I’m hungry!
Mixed Greens with Pecans, Gorgonzola and Apricot Vinaigrette
This salad is inspired by a wonderful local restaurant called Stella Alpina Osteria. Their signature butter leaf salad called the "Stella" uses apricot jam in the vinaigrette. My homemade apricot jam that I make every year is put to good use in this delicate and flavorful salad.
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 bag mixed spring greens omit and use 2 heads of butter lettuce, if desired
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup pecans, toasted or glazed
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola
For the dressing: Add champagne vinegar, apricot jam, garlic, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and olive oil to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously and taste for seasoning, adding more jam or a drizzle of honey if a sweeter vinaigrette is desired.
For the salad: Separate leaves of the butter lettuce and wash and dry thoroughly. Tear large pieces in half and keep smaller pieces whole. Add butter lettuce and spring greens to a large bowl.
Add onions, pecans, cranberries and crumbled gorgonzola to lettuce.
Add enough dressing to coat the leaves and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper.