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Friday, May 6, 2011

Strawberry Bistro Salad

This is my favorite salad of all time. It has mixed greens, strawberries, walnuts, bleu cheese, tortilla strips, and raspberry vinaigrette. Now if you’re thinking that all those ingredients don’t sound good together - don’t worry, I was really skeptical myself the first time I tried it. When the waitress described the salad to me, I must have looked hesitant because she assured me it was tasty, and she was right. Years later, when I worked at Grillmarks as a bartender, I’d have to assure many guests too and I can’t recall one time they didn’t like it.

Such a pretty salad!

Side note: I don’t recommend going to work at one of your favorite places to eat; you will inevitably gain a minimum of 10 pounds. Trust me on this.

The “glue” that pulls all the ingredients together is the raspberry vinaigrette. I’ve never had another one like it. It’s sweet, tangy, and slightly thicker than your normal vinaigrette dressing. I’ve tried several store brands over the years trying to get one that was close, and failed miserably at home many times over attempting to replicate it. And then the other week, I happened to see a bottle of raspberry vinaigrette and the color was the closest I’d seen yet. (The color of Grillmark’s vinaigrette was PINK. Like really pink.) So I snatched it up and decided to make salads for dinner.

Strawberry Bistro Salad
*Serves 4 as side salad
(printable recipe)

What you need:
- 6-8 oz mesclun mixed greens
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/3 cup Marie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 1 ½ tablespoon plain yogurt
- tortilla strips*
*My store has them in the same aisle as the croutons

What to do:

1. Start by toasting your walnuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat for about 6-8 minutes. Give them a toss every couple of minutes until fragrant. Core and slice strawberries.

2. Mix the raspberry vinaigrette with the yogurt. I did this to make it a bit thicker like the original.

3. In a large bowl, or on individual plates, combine greens, bleu cheese, walnuts, strawberries, tortilla strips, and drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy.

Thoughts: Success! While the vinaigrette wasn’t exactly spot on, it was {thisclose} to being perfect. This is the closest I’ve gotten to date, and it definitely satisfied my craving. This is such a light and refreshing salad for summer. If you want to make it more of a meal, you can add grilled chicken or salmon. Both go beautifully with it.


Merut said...

I'm not skeptical. This sounds awesome! I guess the only part I would be "concerned" about is the tortilla strips. They don't really sound like they belong, but I know they probably add some necessary crunch and salt. Your pictures are delicious!

AllThingsYummy said...

Looks delicious. I've never had strawberries in a salad before. I'll have to try it. yum.

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