Thursday, August 11, 2005

Better Late Than Never

A while back, when I blogged on my Steelhead recipe, I made a suggestion regarding a salad to serve with it. I've refined that recipe a bit since then.

I developed a vinaigrette recipe for a cooking competition I was too late to enter, but thought I'd share the recipe with you anyway.

The ingredients are, again, focused on Oregon flavors. As I've mentioned, we produce almost the entire US crop of filberts (hazelnuts), and are the top berry producing state in the nation -- included in our crop are Blackberries, Marionberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Huckleberries *gasp* and cranberries. In addition, an Oregon cheesemaker, Rogue Creamery, is considered one of the best blue cheese makers in the world. Personally, I don't like blue cheese, but TFR loves it and it goes well with this recipe.

Blackberry Vinaigrette

1/4 Cup blackberry wine*
1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
1/3 Cup oil**
1 Tsp. sugar
1 Tsp. minced garlic
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper (more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp. chopped celery

*You can heat this to cook off the alcohol if you want, but I don’t bother. If you do, let it cool before continuing.
** I use hazelnut oil, which can be hard to find and expensive. Other options include almond oil, sesame oil, or, of course, extra virgin olive oil.

Filbert & Blue Cheese Salad

Dry Ingredients:
6 Cups raw fresh spinach leaves
1/4 Cup chopped filberts
1/4 Cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup blue cheese

Toss all dry ingredients. Drizzle lightly with blackberry vinaigrette, transfer to individual salad bowls. Makes 6 servings.

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