Gorgonzola and Dried Cherry Salad

I finally ventured away from our house salad, and have started looking around for other potential salad dressings. I hit on this one because I was planning on making a chicken dish for dinner with cherry-marsala sauce, and wanted something to complement that. As it turned out, the salad had so much more flavor than the chicken that I wished I had eaten the latter first. I won’t be making the chicken dish again, but the salad will be going into our rotation for sure.

We made this salad with spring mix greens. I left out the onion and used some candied pecans we had made previously. The cheese was a fantastic Ciresa Mountain blue gorgonzola from Whole Foods. For the dried cherry vinaigrette, I used about 1/4 C minced shallots, and pureed the finished vinaigrette in the Cuisinart before making the salad. It made enough for at least 2 days of salad for the two of us.

Gorgonzola and Dried Cherry Salad

1 head of leafy green lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
(or prepackaged spring mix greens)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1/2 C sugared pecans
dried cherry vinaigrette* or raspberry vinaigrette
1/2 C crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Toss the lettuce, onion, apple, pecans and cherries in a large salad bowl. Pour on enough dressing to coat and toss the salad. Garnish with gorgonzola before serving.

Dried Cherry Vinaigrette

1/2 C olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/3 C sherry or red wine vinegar
1/4 C pitted unsweetened dried cherries, chopped
2 tsp sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the vinaigrette, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the vinegar and boil for 1 minute. Add the dried cherries, salt and pepper, and heat through for 1 minute longer. Taste for seasoning and allow to cool. Puree in the food processor.

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