Mixed Young Lettuces with Blueberries, Gorganzola, Candied Pecans, and Pancetta

Blue Berry Salad with Gorganzola, Pancetta, and Candied Pecans

Have you ever noticed how long the titles of recipes have become? We don’t have names for recipes anymore, like back in the olden days when I was a kid.  Names, instead, have become descriptors and they have us either drooling or running for the toilet long before we reach the end of the descriptor. Very effective.

People used to say things like, “I have a recipe for banana bread. It calls for x, y, z.” That would open up a whole discussion about banana bread with a comparison of recipes between cooks. “Oh yes, mine has x in it, too. Mine calls for 1/2 cup of x. How much does yours call for?” Discussions could get quite lively with the back and forth, give and take of ingredients and amounts. Now, however, conversations can be pretty short lived. “I have a recipe for Golden Buttery Pineapple, Walnut, Cinnamon Banana Bread with a Cream Cheese Lemon Raspberry Filling.” What do you say after that announcement?  “Oh.  That sounds good”. Which then opens up an opportunity for a very witty and intellectually brilliant, “Yes, it’s delicious.” Conversation over.

Actually, that above off-the-cuff descriptor sounds pretty darn good–minus the walnuts. I’ll have to get to work right away…..as a matter of fact, the recipe is just about finished in my head.

I have to admit that I am as guilty as anyone else when it comes to naming recipes as evidenced by the descriptor for this salad. But, I needed to grab your attention, fast. We have become used to getting information on the fly and we don’t have time to actually read a recipe to find out about it. Gotta hurry, gotta go, gotta get it all done yesterday. It’s just the way we are.

It would be nice to think, though, that we are taking time to sit and have a meal with our families and friends. When my children were growing up we always had dinner together. Even through the soccer practices and dance lessons and swim meets and track meets we managed to sit down at the dinner table together. My husband and I had a routine. I would drive around the valley dropping the kids off at their various activities and then would come home and work on getting dinner on the table. My husband would go around picking up the kids on his way home from work and by the time everyone got home, dinner would be almost ready. Things didn’t always work out so picture perfect, but even on the nights we had to grab burgers on the way home, we sat down at the table and ate together as a family.

Of course I have rambled, as I do so often. Have fun with this salad. It goes together quite easily and is especially delicious with this Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette. Don’t let the candied pecans scare you off. They are very easy to make and are done in about 20 minutes in the oven. I will confess that the salad may be more popular with adults than with children, but the kids would at least like to pick out the blueberries and candied pecans.

Play around with cheeses, if Gorgonzola is not on your list of likes. Try Swiss cheese or Gruyere. As a matter of fact, Gruyere might be especially nice.  It is one of my favorite cheeses and my grandkids love it, too.

I have measurements for ingredients in this salad because sometimes people like to have that sort of thing, but, well, it is just one of those things where you can make as much or as little as you need. I would recommend that you use a light hand on the Gorgonzola, it is rather potent.

The recipe for the candied pecans is included at the end of the salad.

Mixed Young Lettuces with Blueberries, Gorganzola, Candied Pecans, and Pancetta

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Ingredients

    For the Salad:
  • 8 cups mixed lettuces, torn into bite-sized pieces or equal amount of romaine lettuce
  • 1/3-1/2 cup whole, fresh blueberries
  • 2-4 tablespoons gorganzola crumbles
  • 1/2 of a small purple onion, sliced thin
  • 8 slices pancetta or bacon, fried and crumbled or diced (I had the deli slice the pancetta about 1/8-inch thick. Allow about 1 slice per person. Dice the pancetta before frying.)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup broken candied pecans (Recipe follows)
  • For the Candied Pecans
  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

    For the Salad:
  1. Put lettuces in bowl. Add blueberries, gorganzola, purple onion, and pancetta or bacon.
  2. Top salad with candied pecans (see instructions below) or serve separately and allow each person to use as desired. Serve with salad dressing of choice or try this Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette.
  3. For the Toasted Pecans:
  4. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Or, line the baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  5. Whisk egg white and water in a medium size bowl. Add the pecans to the egg white mixture and toss to coat the pecans well.
  6. In a plastic zipper bag, put the sugar and cinnamon, close bag, and shake to mix. Transfer the pecans to the bag with the sugar mixture, close bag, and shake to coat the pecans.
  7. Turn pecans out onto the prepared baking pan. Move the pecans around so that they are 1 layer thick. Bake for 10 minutes at 350-degrees F.
  8. Take pan out of the oven, stir the pecans and scatter them once again so that they are 1 layer thick. Return pan to oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool before handling.
  9. Break the pecans into pieces for use on salad or as a topping for breads, muffins, desserts, etc. Note: The nuts break quite easily. I just twisted them with my fingers.
http://tsgcookin.com/2011/07/mixed-young-lettuces-with-blueberries/

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