Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday with Friends and Cranberry Walnut Salad

My friend Lisa invited us over for a casual Friday night get together with a few of her friends. She loves Champagne, so she featured several bottles and lots of fun finger food appetizer stuff.  I brought a frozen pizza for the kids (they were so busy running around outside on a nice night I don't think they ate anyway), and made a salad with the first pickup from the CSA at Mighty Food Farm

I was in such a hurry after work to get down to the farm, get home and walk the dogs and make the salad that I forgot to plan to bring my camera down to the CSA room. It's so divine to walk in to all that fresh produce.  I got  half a pound of spinach, half a pound of mesclun lettuce mix, a dozen eggs, some baby bok choi, and a head of gorgeous butter lettuce.

One of my favorite salads to make lately is roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and extra sharp cheddar cheese tossed with lettuce in Paul Newman's light Raspberry Walnut dressing.  I like to add red onion too, but I didn't have any.  It's a fantastic salad, and really pretty to serve to guests or bring to a potluck!
In such a hurry I didn't even get the picture in focus:
I hit the jackpot last week on the Cabot cheddar at Hannaford. I like to buy it from the specialty case, not from the mass market section (whatever it's called!).  This is the cheese that's wrapped in plastic wrap in different weight amounts, with a sticker affixed to it.  The one I like--the extra sharp--is about $7.99 a pound. But last week there was a pile of chunks of it--cheese that hadn't cut into nice uniform rectangles or squares.  It was $2.92 a pound!  I had to keep myself from filling my cart! I think I bought four big chunks anyway. I'll have to keep an eye out more often for this kind of deal because that extra sharp cheese crumbles and flakes anyway (that's how you know it's good!) so who cares if it's not a smooth piece? Jackpot!

It seems like I should make my own dressing for this salad though. I'm going to ask my brother, who is a chef, for a suggestion. It's probably just walnut oil, but what do you do for the raspberry? Add real ones, or is there raspberry vinegar?

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