Baby Blue Salad with Strawberries and Oranges

This is an excellent salad with artisan greens, blue cheese and a wonderful balsamic vinaigrette.  Then the salad is garnished with  strawberries, oranges and sweet and spicy pecans.  I might have to replace my old Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe with this new one.  I guess I need to make them both and do a taste comparison – that always works; and if not I will keep them both.

After all of the sweets and goodies from Mardi Gras and even last night at a neighbor’s with her chocolate pie it is time to have something a little “healthier”.  I could live on salads as there are so many ways to fix them, the ingredients are endless and the possibilities are numerous.  So, this is my contribution to Fiesta Friday #6 at The Novice Gardener’s party.

This is an older salad where I knew I might be able to find the author just by its title “Baby Blue Salad”.   There are a number of recipes online including one from Southern Living and that is probably where I found the recipe because it is identical to the one I have had for 10 years.

On further looking I found a  recipe by Chef Franklin Biggs, who comes from Birmingham, Alabama and it seemed  this Baby Blue Salad was created by him.  The recipe was a little different from the version I had so I combined the two recipes, one from 2004 and the latest version in 2014 based on my taste preferences.   The Southern Living recipe  had 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper added to the nuts and I did not care for this.  Chef Biggs also roasted his garlic which gives the vinaigrette some additional great flavor.

Baby Blue Salad with Strawberries and Oranges

  • 1 lb. baby lettuce mix
  • 6 oz. blue cheese (I used a reduced fat crumbled blue cheese and it was very good)
  • 2 cups balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 4 oranges, peeled and sliced or use canned mandarin oranges
  • 2 pints strawberries, quartered
  • 6 oz. pecans or 1 cup (see recipe below)

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, roasted (see my recipe Roasted Garlic)
  • 2 tbsp. shallots, minced (optional)
  • 3 cups olive oil

Combine the above ingredients and mix well.

SWEET AND SPICY PECANS:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder

Stir together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves; add pecan halves and soak 10 minutes.  Drain well and discard the sugar/water mixture.  This step and the ingredients  were not included in the author’s original recipe but is a good idea so the spices will adhere better.

Combine the sugar and chili powder.   An 1/8 tsp. of ground red pepper is optional but I chose to leave it out as I did not care for the extra heat.  Add the pecans and toss to coat.  Place on a greased baking sheet,  parchment paper or a foil lined baking sheet.  See also my post Candied Pecans or Walnuts for Salads for additional nut recipes.

Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes; then stir, turn and bake another 5 minutes.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2014/03/07/babybluesalad/  

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39 thoughts on “Baby Blue Salad with Strawberries and Oranges

    • Spring – where are you? The robins are everywhere now so I know it is not too far off. I have been trying to take a picture of a robin in the sunshine but so far no luck. I do like my fiestaware as it makes this salad look prettier 🙂

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      • I’m in California. I know Spring is not too far off–just anxious I guess! I hope you capture that photo! I’ve been trying to take photos of budding flowers and trees lately.

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      • I am in Michigan and so anxious to see the trees, flowers and all of the critters come alive with their spring rituals 🙂 Photography takes a lot of work and I am truly impressed with some of the pictures people take. I am a little impatient and need to spend more time… 🙂

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  1. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #6 | The Novice Gardener

  2. Oh Judi! I am a salad freak and your salad is calling out to me! All of your ingredients just sing! I could make a meal of this and then eat the leftovers for dessert!

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  3. I love this salad, Juju! I don’t know why I never serve this at home, since hubby loves blue cheese. I happen to have pecans in my freezer, been there since Christmas. Was going to make pecan pie, but I think the spiced pecans are more sensible. Like you said, right after Fat Tuesday, we might want to go for lighter fare. 🙂

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  4. Hello Juju! I guess this Artisan lettuce is available across North America… I am Canadian and I often buy the exact same pack… I love the idea of having a salad with spicy pecans : )

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  5. I’m in complete agreement with you!! I’ve been so bad lately, eating foods that are so heavy and unhealthy…I can feel it. This salad is so perfect to get back into a better eating habit! It’s so pretty, one that I’d be so happy to serve to my guests! Your photos are perfect!!

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    • My waistline is showing the effects of all “this heavy food” ha!ha! I am glad I like salads a lot because you really can make them low-fat if you want. Thanks for the compliments – I know I can do better with my camera – it’s a Nikon D7000. It just takes a lot of time as you know 🙂

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  6. What a lovely and healthy salad. I love the fruits, the cheese and most of all the sweet and spicy pecans. This must taste really great. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

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    • Thanks Liz – the nuts are always good and so easy to make. I always have pecans and walnuts in my freezer so when I need to make some I can do so easily. Have a great week too as the weather is getting warmer and the snow continues to melt 🙂

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