George’s Salad

Who the heck is George?

Well, traditionally, in my family, George was just about any guy whom’s name my Pepé (grandfather) couldn’t bother to recall.

In this case, George’s is a restaurant somewhere around about Indianapolis where I went to a family lunch and, between my youngest nephew getting the powers that be to switch the station to the one with the game he was following, I first came across this kinda wonderful salad.

Dried cherry vinaigrette. Blue cheese. Roasted nuts and beet slices. Mandarin frikkin’ oranges.

What is not to love?

•Baby spinach
•Romaine, chopped (I used a crispy butter)
Roasted Sliced Beets
Blanched Asparagus
•Mandarin oranges
•Red pear, sliced
•Blue cheese
Toasted pecans

Cherry Vinaigrette:
•1/4 cup dried cherries (reconstituted in 1/4 cup red wine vinegar for 30 minutes)
•2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
•1 tsp champagne vinegar
•1/2 cup olive oil
•1 tsp hot honey
•1/4 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper

The day before you plan to make the salad, roast the beet slices and blanch the asparagus, then stash in the fridge.

Make the vinaigrette (either the day ahead or early in the day) by adding all of the ingredients except for the olive oil to a blender jar or an immersion blender beaker.

Pulse until the cherries are finely chopped and everything else is nicely blended, then, with the blender running, stream the olive oil in until the dressing is emulsified.

Transfer to a jar and chill for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to blend.

When ready to serve, toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl, then serve with the dressing on the side.

Adding grilled chicken or salmon would make this a meal; but it worked nicely as a side for Buffalo Wings, too.

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