Valentine’s Day. Whatever your thoughts are on it, whether they be favorable, negative, or indifferent, it’s a great day to try some fun, aesthetically pleasing food. Really, this salad is so delicious that I like eating it any time of year. The flavors are the perfect combination and complement each other beautifully.
I took my salad to an old-fashioned elementary school inspired Valentine’s Day party. So funny. My friend, Kendra’s, husband was out of town and with their first baby on the way any moment (if my posts make it sound like everyone around me is having babies, perhaps that’s because many are) she didn’t have much to do and so I brought her with me. She’s great. I always have fun when I’m with her. I could probably spend all day, every day together and not grow tired of her. She cracks me up with her quick wit and insane true stories. Seriously, if you ever meet her, I hope you get to hear some of them. Unbelievable.
I also love the fact that she’s completely oblivious or in denial that she could go into labor any minute and have a baby in her arms tomorrow. She’s continuing to make plans left and right! Just today I received a text that read, ‘Let’s have a cooking party on Sunday! We can cook and bake dinner and dessert together and then hang out and play board games or something. Let’s invite everyone”. Hilarious! Perhaps I need to remind her how this usually works. Babies seldom have respect for your busy social life or your packed day planner 😉
But I suppose you want the salad recipe, so here it is! Enjoy! One note: while it might seem like there are a lot of recipes inside of this recipe, it’s not difficult at all and you’ll have extra that is easily stored and used in other ways.
Also, the nuts in this recipe are fantastic in the salad, but I don’t recommend eating them alone – not so yummy.
4 cups of spring mix greens
1/8 cup of dried cranberries
5 small beets (roasted, from a can, or jar) thinly sliced – I like to use my Pampered Chef egg slicer – works like a dream
1/4 cup goat cheese
small handful of spiced walnuts (see recipe below)
Dijon vinaigrette dressing (see recipe below)
Spiced Walnuts (this will make you plenty of nuts that you can save and store in a jar):
8 oz. walnuts
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cajun spice
here is my cajun spice recipe:
- 3/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the walnuts and spices and toss gently. Heat oven to 325 and roast for about 10-15 minutes, being careful not to burn the nuts.
Salad Dressing (serve on the side as this makes extra):
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar