Mandarin Orange and Blue Cheese Salad
Think of this recipe as a blueprint and customize it with what you have on hand or prefer. No oranges? Try strawberries and raspberries. Don't like blue cheese? Try crumbled feta. Extras or alternatives to try include dried cranberries, toasted nuts, crumbled bacon, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, red onion, pickled baby beets, olives, et cetera. Serve this salad year-round with the game of your choice.
Rinse and tear off tough outer leaves of butter lettuce. Core, tear into bite-sized pieces, and dry. Place leaves in a large salad bowl. Add the orange segments, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted pecans.
Combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and garlic. Shake to blend and pour desired amount over the salad. Toss and serve.
Salad Bar Salads
So many grocery stores have wonderful salad bars. Take advantage of them and customize your mealtime salads. Buy the greens in a separate container. Buy the goodies in one or two additional containers. The greens will last longer without the goodies wilting them. Everyone is happy because each gets to add just what he or she wants to his or her salad. Serve with homemade or store-bought salad dressings.
2 heads butter lettuce
1 (4-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
4 ounces blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup toasted pecans
¼ cup white vinegar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced