Salad season is here. We eat a lot of salad in the summer. I mean, A LOT. I learned a couple of years ago that planting lettuce and kale in our small square foot garden is totally worth it because we eat enough that it never goes to waste and saves us a lot of money. The lettuce slows down about this time of year though. So I do end up buying salad greens at the grocery store to supplement our harvest.
I get bored, though, with just eating a basic green salad every day. (And yes, we eat salad just about every day this time of year.) And I like trying out different kinds of salads to keep it interesting. But at the same time they’ve got to be quick and easy. As much as I enjoy cooking, I’d rather spend my time enjoying the summer sun than in the kitchen all day.
Bluegrass salad is one of my favorite salads for summer. It is quick and easy and delicious. I’ve seen recipes for bluegrass salad around for years, and I’ve put my own spin on it.
The original recipe uses vegetable oil in the dressing. I try to avoid vegetable oil, so I use avocado oil instead. I love this super simple dressing recipe. You could really use this on any salad. Just four ingredients: avocado oil, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and sugar.
Also, I prefer crumbled goat cheese in this salad, especially with the pears and cranberries, as opposed to the bleu cheese the original recipe uses. And from what I understand, this salad is traditionally made with bibb lettuce. Although, you’ll usually see recipes calling for romaine. I don’t use either. Instead, I use a mix of kale, spinach, and Swiss chard.
Despite this being a meatless dish, I find it filling and satisfying enough to have an an entree, especially on a particularly warm day. You could serve it with some fresh bread if you needed a little more substance though. I’ve cut the recipe down to serve just 2 as an entree or 4 as a side dish. That way you don’t end up with gobs of leftover salad sitting in the refrigerator. The recipe is easily doubled back to serve 6-8 though.
A New Twist on Bluegrass Salad
I've updated this classic recipe to use my favorite ingredients.
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 3/8 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3-4 cup salad greens (I like power greens: spinach, kale, swiss chard)
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1/2 cup asparagus tips
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Whisk together the first four ingredients. Refrigerate 1 hour (or longer). Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add walnuts and saute for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove walnuts with a slotted spoon. Toss together salad greens, pears, asparagus and walnuts. Sprinkle with cheese and cranberries; drizzle with dressing.