SWANKY SUMMER SALAD
by Dea Castrejon
Have you ever been thoroughly blown away by a new dish ordered at a restaurant? As a foodie family, we are always trying new restaurants, waiting for those one-of-a-kind dishes to “wow” us.
Well, one of my favorite restaurant dish discoveries, to date, has been the Opaque Salad at the Pecan Grill in Lubbock, Texas. This salad is so simple, so elegant, and it is constructed flawlessly! Per the menu’s description: “Texas pink grapefruit, asian pear and avocado salad, constructed with whipped pecan praline mascarpone.” Gosh, I love this salad, and it is so pretty!
Typically, when I find my favorite fares, I want to recreate them, so I can enjoy them whenever I want. Not to toot my own horn, but I think my recreated recipe stands on par with the Opaque Salad served at the Pecan Grill.
Opaque Salad…the Granola Factory way
*Makes 1 salad
1 asian pear (substitute 1/2 jicama in the summertime), peeled and cubed
1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mascarpone
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced
2 tablespoons Granola Factory Organic Honey Pecan
Okay, this is pretty straightforward.
Step One: peel fruit skin off of asian pear or jicama (jicama is used below). Cut into sugar-cube like squares. Set aside.
Step Two: repeat process with grapefruit. Peel skin completely off. Remove grapefruit from inner casing and section off into small pieces.
Step Three: Cut avocado in half. Thinly slice, and when ready to serve, use a spoon to carefully scoop out the slices.
Step Four: pour balsamic vinegar in a small frying pan and turn on stovetop to medium/high heat. Stir often until vinegar thickens (5-7 minutes). Turn on low, and get ready to serve.
Step Five: Plate your dish. I like putting the asian pear in the middle, sided by the avocado and grapefruit. Top with a dollop of mascarpone, drizzle with balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with organic honey pecan granola. Enjoy!
This salad has become a staple in my household. With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is fresh, vibrant, and enticing. These three fruits blend ideally: creamy notes of avocado, juicy bursts of grapefruit, and the slightly sweet and crisp texture of the asian pear/jicama. On top of this (literally), the creamy, rich mascarpone, couples with the sweet zing of balsamic reduction, while the roasted pecans and speckled granola flakes enhances the all around complex flavor of this delightfully refreshing salad. Ditch the oven on hot summer days, and enjoy this salad that is sure to please!