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This recipe for The Salad to Bring When They Ask You to Bring a Salad is the answer to your problem, when you’ve been invited over for a meal.
Just Bring A Salad
You offer to bring “something to go with the meal” when you’ve been invited over for dinner, and the host says, “Oh…just bring a salad”. You want to bring something that will stand out as scrumptious. But you ALSO want to bring something EASY. What to do?
A couple of nights ago, I found your answer!
Spinach And Butter Lettuce Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese
I found the original recipe for this salad on epicurious.com, one of my favorite go-to recipe sites. This particular recipe, listed in their “best of” salads recipe section, looked fairly simple. It had been given a 5 star rating: but could a salad really be that good, and that easy?
Oh, yeah. It could. I’ve had this salad two nights in a row (three helpings each night) for dinner, with a simple rotisserie chicken from Costco. But it would go great with MANY types of meats, really.
Serve this at any meal that needs a salad, and you’ll find your guests coming back for seconds and thirds, like I did.
The Salad to Bring is All About the Balance of Flavors
I think it’s the balance of flavors and the variety of textures that makes it so good. Creaminess, tanginess and saltiness come from the blue cheese. You get crunchiness from the pecans and the crisp salad greens. There’s a touch of spicy heat to the pepper and the shallot in the dressing. There’s acidity in the vinaigrette, as well as a touch of sweetness form the maple syrup in it. And the craisins are sweet and tart and just a bit chewy, all at the same time.
How Hard is it to Make”The Salad To Bring”?
The only real chopping I did (which is the thing that tends to put me off when it comes to salad making) was chopping the pecans after I roasted them (which took about 1 minute) and the shallot for the vinaigrette (which also took about 1 minute). The rest was simply throwing in the proper amount of ingredients and tossing it around with the vinaigrette.
The original recipe on the epicurious.com website called for endive. I didn’t have any, and I don’t tend to buy it, but I did have a couple of heads of butter lettuce, and a great big bucket of spinach, so that’s one way I altered and adapted this recipe.
But What If I Don’t Have Any Craisins?
The first night I made it, I didn’t have any craisins, so I substituted strawberries. They were good, and lent their own charm, but I found I preferred the more concentrated intense flavor of the craisins. (Next time I may try dried cherries, because I’m a huge cherry fan.)
Edited to Add: I’m adding this paragraph to update that I actually PREFER dried cherries, over the craisins called for in the original recipe. I love their tang, and their intensity.
About the Pecans I Used in “The Salad to Bring”:
Let’s talk about where to get some extraordinarily delicious pecans. I’ve recently begun a partnership with the Millican Pecan Company, the home of the MOTHER Pecan Orchard, in San Saba, TX. They are a 5 generation farm family! Their orchard pioneered the pecan industry in San Saba, back in 1888. I LOVE their pecans, and they don’t JUST sell pecans. I heartily endorse their Sweet and Spicy pecans, that go great on a salad, or are delicious as an appetizer. If you’d like to order their VERY reasonably priced pecans, or any of their pecan treats from them, please use my coupon code: SUSAW100
To toast the pecans: spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350º for about 5 minutes. When you just begin to smell them, you’ll know they’re done. Unless you have a cold or a stopped up nose or no sense of smell.
But What If I Hate Blue Cheese? (Or Bleu Cheese?)
First: you’re not alone. Both my kids hate it too. Heathens.
Second: I occasionally substitute feta in honor of them, and feta works just fine.
The Recipe for The Salad to Bring (when they ask you to bring a salad):
The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring a Salad
The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring A Salad really IS the salad to bring to a dinner that friends are throwing....or to a dinner at your own house. The flavors and textures are well balanced and unforgettably delicious!
- FOR VINAIGRETTE:
- 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped (approximately 2 T.)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- FOR SALAD:
- 2 heads of Butter Lettuce (Romaine would be fine, too)
- 10 oz. spinach
- 1 c. pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 c. dried cherries (or craisins)
- 1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese
- Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Toss salad greens in a large bowl with vinaigrette, and sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit, and blue cheese.
I like dried, tart sweet cherries. You'll find a link below, where you can order them online.
For maple syrup, I also recommend Grade A Dark. (This used to be called Grade B.) Again, you'll find a link below.
I've also included a link to an acrylic salad bowl, that should help make transporting your beautiful salad a little more worry free.
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And just in case you need some other ideas….
Some Other Ideas For Something to Take Along to that Dinner:
If not a salad, how about an appetizer? Or a side dish? Or a dessert? I've got you covered!!!
Oh, golly....the fried bread? Do NOT miss out on frying the bread, and then drizzling the whole with the sherry vinaigrette.
Magically delicious, with minimal effort, these baked beans pack a huge flavor punch. They're the best baked beans I've ever had.
Fresh, tasty and delicious. Great with or without tortilla chips.
Fresh summer sweet corn never tasted so good! This will make your guests swoon.
What to do with fruit, when you've got to have dessert, but you need it in a hurry!
This delicious oven roasted salsa recipe will make you world famous, at least amongst your friends and guests!
Italian Lemon Almond Olive Oil Cake is a simply delightful dessert, filled with complex flavors and a moist texture.
This guacamole is fresh, simple, and delicious, and the flavor of the avocados shines through!
|You owe it to yourself to make this as soon as possible. Good, and good for you!|
Wednesday 15th of February 2023
Are the quantities for the vinaigrette listed as T a teaspoon or tablespoon? I want to get it right. Sounds delicious.
Monday 20th of February 2023
I used to write recipe abbreviations with 1 T. standing for 1 Tablespoon, and 1 t. standing for one 1 teaspoon. I'll go edit this for clarity. Thanks for your comment, Denise.
Tuesday 3rd of January 2023
I've made this salad many times, substituting ingredients where needed (e.g red onion for shallots, walnuts for pecans, feta for blue cheese etc). It's delicious every time! Quick, easy and forgiving, definitely a 5 star recipe!
Friday 23rd of December 2022
Love this salad. The only down side though, is now I’m the one that always gets the assignment to begin “ my salad “. I’d much rather be the one that only has to bring the chips or drinks. I’ve told them all that it’s on Pinterest too. So needless to say I always double the dressing recipe so I have plenty on hand. It’s always been fine in my refrigerator for 2+ weeks.
Monday 14th of November 2022
*****5 stars! My husband, who is not a lover of salads, has commented twice as he eats this salad. It is delicious. I did use my recipe for glazed pecans in it. This will be on my menu often. Thank you for such an easy recipe that delivers such great flavor.
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
Thanks, Jen! I so appreciate your kind comments, and I'm delighted that your hubby loves it, too!
Sunday 6th of November 2022
This was a hit at a family birthday celebration that I had been asked to "bring the salad" to. I've made a couple of times now. I had some honeycrisp apples in the fridge (from a different salad recipe) and decided to add some chopped apple into this salad -
It was just as delicious and made a perfect fall salad to go with our Sunday dinner porkchops.