Monday, May 27, 2013

Curried Cashew, Pear, and Grape Salad

Summer is not only time for grilled food, but for fresh salads! This one I made for our latest Dr. Who night, and I think it was pretty tasty. I may play around with the cashew seasoning next time, other than that, it was a fun and different salad take.


 3/4 cup cashew halves
 4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
 1 tablespoon melted butter
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
 1 teaspoon curry powder
 1 tablespoon brown sugar
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
 2 tablespoons honey
 1/2 cup olive oil
 salt and black pepper to taste

 1 (10 ounce) package mixed salad greens
 1/2 medium Bosc pear, thinly sliced
 1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes


In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast cashews until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cashews to a dish to cool slightly.
Return skillet to medium-high heat, cook bacon strips until crisp on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and soak up grease with a paper towel. Coarsely chop bacon, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together butter, rosemary, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and toasted cashews. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together white wine vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large salad bowl, toss dressing with greens, pear slices, grapes, and bacon, and sprinkle with nut mixture.

I did double the recipe, because really, what was I going to do with 1/2 of a pear? Based on multiple reviews, my first change was to roast the cashews in the oven. I started the bacon by baking it on a baking sheet in a non-pre-heated oven on 450 for about 15-20 minutes. I added the cashews once the oven was heated and cooked for about 10 minutes. The cashews got a little toasty on the bottom, so I think I'd decrease the time to 8 minutes. I do not overly love spicy food, so I decreased the cayenne pepper to just a sprinkle. 
 Also based on reviews, I decreased the oil in the dressing by a little more than half (I used 7 Tblspns instead of 1 cup of olive oil). That seemed to be the perfect amount - it was an awesome tasting dressing, and not too oily. I left the dressing to be put on to taste - it's pretty strong, and I think it would wayyyyyyy overpower the salad if made in the specified proportions. My only addition to the recipe was to add some blue cheese (on the side, for any non-blue cheese lovers), which I think was quite yummy. 

So now, with that all said, it's back to my Gilmore Girls marathon. On season 2, and Rory just broke her wrist....Oh calamity! 

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