How does one describe a salad without mentioning all the ingredients in the title? Really I wanted to call this the Walnut, Grape, Blue Cheese, Sherry (or Port or Muscat) Vinegar and Oil with Mixed Greens Salad. All ingredients hold their place—most are equal in their delivery of balance and flavor. As in the to-be title, any number of vinegars can make an appearance in this dressing. I have used red and black seedless grapes in this little wonder of a salad. I have toasted the walnuts in a 350 oven for 10 minutes, in a dry skillet over medium heat for 5 or even on top of a panini grill. Just watch them so they don’t burn: aromatic is good, burned is bad. This batch makes enough dressing for a few rounds; I make the dressing a day or two ahead of time and use it for a few meals. It keeps 1-2 weeks.
Walnut Grape Salad
1 small bunch (1 cup) seedless red, firm grapes cut in half
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, whole or in pieces
3 – 5oz blue cheese, crumbled
1 bag or 10 oz mixed greens
Â½ cup olive oil
3 T port, sherry, muscat or good balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon or whiskey mustard
Optional: 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground pepper
Combine in preserve jar the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic if using, salt and pepper to taste. Close lid and shake like mad. Mix greens, cheese, nuts and grapes to combine. Add dressing, toss and serve.
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