Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Little Black Dress Recipe

Two Literary Birthdays 
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was an American author who wrote the Little House Series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family. Laura's daughter, Rose, inspired Laura to write her story.

Charles John Huffam Dickens (February 7,1812-June 9, 1870) was an English writer and
social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is
generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Some of his well
known stories include A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations.

I imagine you might not have thought of a a little black dress as possibly being a metaphor for salad recipes??

Chris Scheuer from Honest Cooking (an online food magazine) calls his salad A Little Black Dress since the recipe is "totally adaptable, simple or elegant, dress it up or down depending on the occasion." He feels salads are perfect for lunch, brunch, sides or even a complete meal. The type of lettuce you use, ingredients, dressing all make each salad unique.   
This salad featured above is made with romaine lettuce, avocado, candied almonds and cranberries. For  Christmas or Valentine's Day could change ingredients to include pomegranate seeds, wedges of ruby red grapefruit or wedges of blood orange slices. The greens could be changed to spinach, Bibb lettuce  or arugula. 
Some other fruit options include crisp apples or pears.
Cheese options include goat cheese or crumbled Blue cheese or shredded Swiss cheese.
Nut options include almonds or pecans. 

Wild Rice Salad
Cook's notes: Start with following basic salad ingredients. Options include type of dressing, fruit such as raspberries, strawberries or red grapes, type of nuts such as pecans or almonds. Chunks of cooked chilled butternut squash could be added to the salad
  • 1 cup wild rice (yields 3 cups cooked rice)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup cashews 
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries 
  • chopped green onion 
Option 1 bottled Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Option 2 Creamy Tarragon Dressing (recipe from
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB. green onion
  • 1 TB. fresh tarragon or 3/4 tsp. dried tarragon
In blender add first six ingredients and then in a slow steady stream add olive oil
Whisk in tarragon and green onion and refrigerate 30 minutes
In the photo below to make even a more healthy meal add brown rice
Main meal option adding chilled chicken or pork and top with fresh raspberries.
Be Creative
Bon Appetit!

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