Monday 22 October 2012

Arugula Salad with Caramelized shallots, goat cheese and candied walnuts!

I enjoyed this hearty salad for lunch last week, and it was a triumph for the taste buds!  It was soooooo tasty! I thought I would share this salad in prelude to the Halloween Sweets, which will be featured the rest of this week!  My favorite salads have lots of different things going on: some kind of fruit, some kind of nut, some kind of cheese. And almost always a little hint of sweetness in the dressing. There’s a little bit of prep involved, but the best part is that you can do all of it in advance! So perfect for dinner too! You will be delighted at how easy each step of this salad is!

Let’s talk about the taste! Mmmmm.... The sweetness of the shallots & candied walnuts pairs nicely with the tangy goat cheese and the peppery arugula.This recipe makes a lot of salad, so feel free to cut it in half. If I would have had some beets, I may have roasted them and added, as that flavor profile would be nice with this salad......YUM!!

Arugula Salad with Caramelized shallots, Goat Cheese & Candied Walnuts

Caramelized shallots:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 thinly sliced shallots (2 red or yellow onions for a stronger flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used a reduction)
Candied walnuts:
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups walnut halves
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ounces baby arugula
  • 10 ounces soft goat cheese, broken into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
For caramelized onions:
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots. Sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with vinegar; stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
For candied walnuts:
Combine first 4 ingredients in another heavy large skillet. Bring to boil, whisking. Boil 1 minute. Add walnuts; stir. Toss until syrup forms glaze on nuts, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to sheet of foil and quickly separate nuts with forks. Cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
For salad: Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Place arugula in very large bowl. Drop in onions, tossing to distribute evenly. Add nuts, croutons, and goat cheese. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly.

Let’s get started!

Melt some butter and brown sugar in a pan with water. After a minute of boiling, stir in the nuts 

 Spread them out on foil and let them dry a bit.

Now slice up the shallots! Toss them into an covered oiled/heated pan and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until caramel brown. At the very end, add some balsamic vinegar. I used a reduced vinegar, so it was extra gooey!

Crumble some goat cheese with a fork. Set aside.

Make your dressing.  It’s just olive oil and balsamic. Easy squeezy!

Take all of your ingredients and toss it in a huge bowl. Add the dressing.
Look what you have! A wonderful salad.  Your mouth will thank you!

This salad is such a treat! It’s perfect for Fall because it’s a tad chilly outside, (in Seattle that is) but the sun is shining, so a nice salad with soup fills that craving for comfort food. Enjoy!

                                 Haunted House on the hill
I love Halloween! And, miss the fun we had creating parties for my kids and friends during this spooky time. My nieces and nephews recently reminded me of a party I created when they were young. I turned the entire house into a haunted house! I had wet noodles for intestines, peeled grapes for eyeballs, a fan that blew threads into their faces and much more, as they walked fun! This last weekend, Tink and Nate Dogg invited me over to help decorate their home for Halloween! We laughed and had so much fun! Here is a couple of pictures and ideas for you!
On Wednesday and Friday's blog Sweet One and I are gearing up for Halloween parties and Fall flings! I am offering "Glazed Apple Cider Doughnut's", just in time for pumpkin carving night this weekend! Traditionally in our family, we cover the table with old newspapers, add carving tools, pumpkin's and carve. To nosh on while carving...........doughnuts, pumpkin bread, homemade taffy, popcorn, frosted cut out sugar cookies and hot spiced cider, with the kiddo's!! 



  1. Delicious salad. I love it. Holly and Nate's house looks great! It will be a fun Halloween at their place!

  2. Thanks Laura! I hope you will try it!! I think you'll love this flavor profile! We had a ball decorating and last night went to the "Haunted Woods" by their house. It is about 1 1/2 miles of trails and structures all haunted!! All of us went after Wicked at Paramont and dinner at Montachino's.....wish you were closer to Seattle!!


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