Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mesclun Salad with Brie Cheese, Candied Almonds, Fresh Sweet Cherries and Ginger Sesame Dressing

The variety of ingredients in this fresh salad are a visual splendor! The burst of flavor in each bite will make this dish a family favorite!

For the almonds
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter
4 ounces sliced almonds, about 1 cup

For the dressing
Juice of 1 large orange, about 1/3 cup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon
Zest of 1 medium lime, about 1 to 2 teaspoons
2-inch piece fresh Ginger, peeled and grated, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
A pinch of sea salt and a grind of fresh pepper

For the salad
8 ounces mesclun salad mix, about 10 to 12 cups torn
8 ounces fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved, about 1 cup
8 ounces brie cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes

Heat the brown sugar and butter in a non stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the almonds. Use a spatula to coat the almonds in the sugar mixture. Cook until just golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour onto parchment paper and cool to room temperature.

In a blender combine the orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar
Sesame oil, mustard, garlic, lime zest, grated ginger and cilantro. Pulse to emulsify. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add the sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper. Pulse just to combine.

Place the lettuce, cherries and brie cheese into a large bowl. Add the almonds. Pour enough dressing over the salad to just moisten the leaves.

Yield: Enough salad for 8 as a first course and 4 lunch sized portions
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 5 minutes to cook the almonds

Sources and Substitutions
Fresh cherries are the best for this recipe. If they are not in season, you can substitute with strawberries, red grapes, or blood orange sections.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That is just incredibly creative salad I have ever made. I'm making this ditto as is given. Salad is must in our meal in this blistering summer.

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