Chopped salads are my life. I crave them 95% of the time and I have a salad every single week day for lunch, but just on the weekends or special occasions I make richer salads like this one.
This salad, which is very similar to my favourite one from Outback Steakhouse, is a blend of fresh flavours (mixed greens with shredded carrots, red cabbage, green onions, sweet candied pecans, tossed with Blue Cheese vinaigrette and topped with Blue Cheese crumbles). You will absolutely fall in love with this recipe.
The amazing mix of the sweet candied pecans and the smooth creamy strong taste of the blue cheese are very important because the blue cheese is such a strong part of the flavour and the candied pecans the sweetness one. If you skimp on those, you’ll be detracting from the entire salad.
- 1/2 cup Pecans - (sliced-lengthwise)
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1.5 tsp Butter - melted or Margarine
Blue Cheese vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup Olive oil - extra virgin
- 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp Sour cream
- 1 tbsp Honey - (use 2 if you like it a bit sweeter)
- 1 tbsp Basil - (chopped fresh)
- Salt - (optional - to taste)
- Black pepper - (optional - freshly Ground- to taste) or Paprika
- 1/4 cup Blue cheese - (crumbled)
- 3 cups Romain lettuce - (chopped) or bibb lettuce or butter lettuce
- 3 cups Red leaf lettuce - (chopped)
- 3 cups Iceberg lettuce - (chopped)
- 3 cups Red cabbage - (chopped)
- 1 cup Carrot - (shredded)
- Green onions - (chopped)
- 1 cup Fried noodle - (pieces)
- 1/2 cup Blue cheese - (crumbled)
- Preheat oven to 190C (375F).
- Slice each pecan half into at least two lengthwise pieces.
- Mix the cinnamon and Dark Brown Sugar.
- Toss the pecans with the melted butter, then with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, tossing well to make sure that the pecans are coated evenly.
- Put the coated pecans on a Parchment Paper in a Shallow Baking Pan and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until sugar is caramelized.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and slide the pecans off of the parchment to cool, and set aside.
Blue Cheese vinaigrette
- In a small bowl, Whisk Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Dijon Mustard, sour cream and Honey.
- Then add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil slowly and Whisk vigorously until smooth.
- Combine the chopped basil and Blue Cheese crumbles.
- If desired, season with salt and black pepper (or Paprika). Whisk until very well blended.
- Chop all of the lettuce and cabbage into smallish bite-sized pieces; and rinse them with cool water. Use a Salad Spinner to dry them.
- Slice the green onion and shred the carrots with a Food Processor.
- Place the chopped lettuce, cabbage and shredded carrots into a Large Mixing Bowl (large enough to allow you to toss the salad in).
- **Add the vinaigrette and toss the salad thoroughly to coat with the dressing.
- Sprinkle with the chopped green onion, ***Fried Noodles, crumbled blue cheese.
- Break the cooled caramelized pecan slices apart and sprinkle them over the salad and serve right away.
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