Monday, May 9, 2011

arugula salad with grapes, fennel, blue cheese & pecans

This is a recipe that has been tried and tested in my family. Since my birthday was this past Friday, I requested this salad be part of dinner because I love it that much (and the options were limitless). The thing about this salad, you can't skip out on any of the ingredients! This salad can be served with or without the puff pastry crust. Cook's Illustrated didn't include the puff pastry crust in their recipe but I think it is a great addition and pie crust or a pizza dough rolled out very thinly would work too!

Arugula Salad with Grapes, Fennel, Blue Cheese & Pecans
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

4 tsp apricot jam
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced very fine (1 tbsp)
1/2 fennel bulb (about 1 cup), cored and trimmed and sliced thin
1/4 c. of fronds (green leafy part of fennel)
8 c. of baby arugula
1 c. of red seedless grapes
3/4 c. gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
craisins (optional)
1/2 puff pastry sheet, thawed and rolled thin

Roll out 1/2 of the puff pastry dough and poke holes in it with a fork. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and let cool. 

Whisk jam, vinegar, oil, shallot, salt, pepper in bowl. Toss fennel with this vinaigrette and let stand for 15 minutes. Add arugula, fennel fronds and grapes and toss together. Lay salad onto puff pastry and then sprinkle toasted pecans, cheese crumbles and craisins on top.

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