Devil’s Rain Salad (NICE!)

04bSaladbfLOI was minding my own bidness, reading a mystery, when one of the main characters starts preparing dinner: grilled steaks, twice baked potatoes, and Devil’s Rain Salad.

A quick search of da Google told me that it was a spicy, toasted walnut-based dressing over a salad of romaine, curly endive, watercress, and beets.

Da Google also informed me that the recipe was from The Nero Wolfe Cookbook – which I just happened to have a copy of.

NeroWolfebfLOConvenient. no?

Wolfe, with his leg man Archie Goodwin, solved many a mystery between tending to his orchids and enjoying the gustatory efforts of his chef, Fritz.

01bOilsBlenderbfLOWith all due apologies to Fritz and Mr. Wolfe, I made a few changes to the salad, based on my own taste and larder contents, but have got to say, this is one winner of a salad. If you want the original recipe, you’ll find it on da Google, but do consider this version; it was a big hit with everyone but the under seven crowd at our last gathering.

INGREDIENTS
Devil’s Rain Dressing:
•3 cloves garlic, peeled
•1/2 cup toasted English walnuts*
•1 tsp dry mustard
•1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
01aToastedPecansbfLO•1/2 tsp dried shallots
•1 tsp minced chives
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/4 cup champagne vinegar
•1/4 cup dry red wine
•1/2 cup olive oil
•1/2 cup grape seed oil

02aDressingBasicsbfLOSalad:
•2 Belgian endive, sliced
•1 head Romaine, sliced
•Shaved Brussels sprouts
•Shaved carrot
•1/2 English cucumber, sliced
•1/2 sweet onion, sliced
•Toasted pecans**
•Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

*To toast the walnuts, arrange on a baking pan and pop into a 350º oven for ten minutes, then set aside to cool.

**To toast the pecans, bake at 300º for thirty minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

02cAddOilsBetterbfLOMake the dressing by adding the toasted walnuts, garlic, seasonings, vinegar, and red wine in a blender jar and giving it all a good whizzz to combine.

Combine the grape seed and olive oils together in a pitcher and, with the blender running, slowly stream into the dressing.

Stash the dressing in a covered jar in the fridge until needed.

03cDevilsRainDressingSpoonbfLOToss the salad ingredients (except for the pecans and the Gorgonzola) together and allow to chill.

When ready to serve, arrange the salad on a large platter, top with the toasted pecans and Gorgonzola crumbles, then serve with the dressing on the side.

Yeh, you could just toss the dressing over the salad, but there is way more dressing than needed for even one pretty big salad, and any leftovers would tend to get all wilty and stuff. Much more better, I think, to allow folk to dress their own.

04cSaladbfLONice salad, and I am really glad that I added the cheese and the toasted pecans at the end; they kinda rounded out the taste. Next time I make this, I’m thinkin’ about adding in some sliced beets, as called for in the original recipe, except I’m gonna roast those puppies first by tossing the slices with a bit of sea salt and baking at 350º for ten to twenty minutes.

I’m also thinkin’ that this would be the perfect salad for Thanksgiving (or any other feast) Day.

It’s never too early to start planning…

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2 Responses to Devil’s Rain Salad (NICE!)

  1. Robert Stermer says:

    This sounds really good. Do you cook the Brussels sprouts at all, or just put them in raw? Also, by shaving do you mean sliced very thinly or is some other prep method used? My wife doesn’t like beets, so I think your modifications would move this from the “don’t try getting me to eat that” category into the “Mmmm” category. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • tbuzzee says:

      I actually cheat and buy them shredded in a bag at Trader Joe’s, but yes, they are raw – think of it as a kind of cole slaw. You could just slice whole sprouts very thinly, or shave them with a mandoline.

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