My Salad Day…

The folks at California Walnuts graciously invited me to a Virtual Salad Party this week, and while “salad” and “party” are not words that usually correlate in a super fun way…I was wicked pleased, as they say here in New England, and it gave me a chance to try something new… notably Savoury Granola.


I know here I am again, throwing around sexy words that just scream “FUN” like GRANOLA which may not be quite as exciting an idea as say CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS or EDIBLE GLITTER COOKIES,  it was a great way to add something different to the classic Beet, Walnut, Goat Cheese Salad.

There were so many delicious looking recipes to choose from, it was a difficult choice. After much deliberation, I chose Aida Mollenkamp’s Baby Beet Salad with Savoury Caraway Walnut Granola . It looked amazing and  I thought I had most of the ingredients on hand, and what I did not have could easily be picked up at the Farmers Market and through my CSA . As they say best laid plans and all that.

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Farket Haul: Maine Made Goat Cheese with Nutmeg and Coriander, Fresh Eggs, Chive Blossoms, Radicchio, Rhubarb, Pain Levain (not shown), Carrots, Parsley

On Saturday we went to the Farket, then took a hike before succumbing to the rest of our household errands plus our neighbors invited us for drinks & burgers at 5:30, so we had a schedule.

I was bringing  my new salad over  to the neighbors, as well as a Rhubarb Crumble and some homemade Buttermilk Ice Cream.  Then I gave myself all of an hour and a half to accomplish this (except for churning & baking time).  Why did I do that ? Because I’m a masochist? To see if I could? Because occasionally I succumb to poor time management skills?

Luckily ( I guess, considering the tasks I’d laid out for myself) the trail we picked for our hike was probably the shortest trail ever.  After about 10 minutes of walking through some truly beautiful woods, we hit a cliff … albeit with a STUNNING view.  Interestingly enough we bumped into 2 of the 8 people we’ve met since moving here . We bumped into them right on the trail, in the middle of the  freakin’ woods! Ahhh, small town life.

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The troll hole
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Macerating Rhubarb


Here’s what I planned:


  1. Wash & Chop Rhubarb
  2. Macerate in Sugar

Post Hike:

  1. Roast Beets at 400
  2. Separate Eggs for Ice Cream Base
  3. Assemble Granola ingredients
  4. Make Crumble Topping
  6. Put Rhubarb in ramekin, Cover with Crumble
  7. Remove Beets from oven put in fridge to cool
  8. Lower heat to 325 add Granola
  9. Make Custard for Ice Cream while Granola is toasting
  10. Remove Granola from oven
  11. Raise oven temp to 375, put  in Crumble
  12. Put Custard in fridge to Cool
  13. Make Salad Dressing
  14. Wash & Dry Greens
  15. Peel & Slice Beets
  16. Pour half Salad Dressing on Beets to marinate
  17. Remove cooled Custard, put in ice cream maker
  18. Take Crumble out of oven
  19. Put Ice Cream in freezer to firm up
  20. Clean Kitchen
  21. Take Shower
  22. Assemble Salad
  23. Run next door for Bloody Mary

Around step 3 I discovered  that I was missing a  pretty important ingredient, namely Caraway Seeds. What I thought were Caraway Seeds were in fact some random Cumin Seeds in an unlabelled jar. I knew that I once bought caraway seeds, but could not remember ever using them, you know how that goes.

Well, maybe you don’t maybe you are the kind of person who knows where everything is and probably never spent over an hour searching through your closet for a dress you thought you owned 2 years ago, when in fact it was not yours but your friend Erin’s who no longer lives near you anyway. If you are like that then I wish I was more like you, life would be just a tiny bit easier.

Back to my Salad

Cumin…would not be a good substitute . I had Fennel Seeds, Nigella Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Coriander Seeds… AHA POPPY SEEDS.

Poppy Seeds + Pecorino + Walnuts YES!

A few small adjustments would have to be made … I took out the tamari and added some orange zest the revised recipe is below:

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Savoury Walnut Granola with Poppy Seeds & Pecorino

The hardest thing about this Savoury Granola is not eating all of it while you are putting together the rest of the salad. Don’t be scared to separate the egg, its ok if a little yolk gets in there, its not a meringue.

Make extra and use to top pasta,  sprinkle on top of a creamy soup, serve with cheese or mix in with popcorn or Chex Mix for a Party Mix.

  • 1 cup rolled old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 2 teaspoons POPPY seeds
  • Zest of One Orange
  • 1 teaspoon or so fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or walnut oil

Pre-Heat Oven to  325

  1. Whisk together egg White, Honey & Oil until foamy
  2. In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients
  3. Pour Wet into dry and mix well to combine
  4. Pour Granola on to a Sheet Pan covered  with Parchment Paper or a Silpat
  5. Bake, Stirring occasionally for 25- 30 minutes until the Walnuts Brown
  6. It might not seem crunchy at first but it will get there as it cools.

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When it came time to make the Salad Dressing I discovered that  didn’t have any Red Wine Vinegar either, so I replaced it with Sherry Vinegar for the dressing, and I also replaced the Olive Oil with Toasted Walnut Oil just because I had it.

Sherry Walnut Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Aged Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup Toasted Walnut Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  1.  Put all ingreidents in a jar with a lid and shake HARD

There are a myriad of ways to make salad dressing but for most vinaigrettes I find that if  I put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake it really hard for a few minutes, it comes out perfect everytime, and I can keep leftover dressing in the jar..less washing is always good.

(HELPFUL FRUGAL HINT- this is a great way to get the last bits out of a jar of mustard… just add oil, vinegar, herbs etc & shake)


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AND… of course there were no Baby Beets to be found much to my dismay, we thought of driving to Whole Foods in Portland, but when I say we I mean me.  There was no way I was going to get my husband to drive all the way there just so I could buy smaller more expensive beets than the ones I was holding in my hand.


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Luckily the beets were beautiful and the attached greens were so nice, I chiffonaded them and tossed the with the Baby Kale from my CSA  to use as salad greens.  I also threw  a few whole parsley & mint leaves and for a little something special, I added edible flowers.

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I have pansies & chive blossoms plus wild arugula growing nearby, and I think flowers should be a part of everything. Life is always better with flowers. No matter how broke I am or have been I have always had and will always have flowers in my house.

In the end Salad turned out terrific! A big hit with both Husband and Neighbors. Sadly the pictures did not come out as well as I had hoped they would .

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  I had a bit of extra Granola leftover and served it on a cheese plate the next day with the rest of the Goat Cheese & some grapes. I will definitely be working savory granolas into my repertoire.


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Sunday Lunch: Gertler’s Wurst Uber Kaese Sausages glazed with Curry Ketchup Butter, Cornichon, Savoury Granola, Goat Cheeses (Coriander nutmeg + Honey Aleppo Pepper) Grapes, Radishes, Pain Levain & a surprisingly delicious German sparkling wine


California Walnuts for inviting me to the party!

Can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to.

2 thoughts on “My Salad Day…

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