Mar 24, 2011

Vermont Maple Blueberry Salad

           This salad is wonderful! I think it is the dressing more than anything else, but the salad as a whole is delicious. I created a copycat recipe of Cafe Zupas Maple Blueberry Salad. Currently Cafe Zupas doesn't operate in Massachusetts (where I currently reside), so ordering this salad from the restaurant is not possible. Being a girl of kitchen genius ;), I created one to curb the cravings!
          This salad has blueberries, green apples, cinnamon almonds and Gorgonzola that I serve over mixed baby greens with a maple vinaigrette dressing. If you like blueberries and maple you will love this salad as well. You can make your own cinnamon almonds (there are tons of recipes on the web) or you can buy a package of cinnamon almonds from the supermarket. I picked mine up at Trader Joe's and they weren't expensive at all.  
          The maple vinaigrette is heavenly. It is sweet and tart from the maple syrup and vinegar. I use it on a number of salads that include cranberries, nuts, cheeses and apples. I feel like the dressing makes the salad. In fact, I don't think I have ever used this dressing on a salad that I didn't end up loving. Maybe it's magic!
         I have served this salad for many guests and friends; several people have asked me for the recipe. I finally sat down and typed it up. My ingredients vary because I feel that salads are one of those easily adaptable foods. If you like more greens and less add-ins or vice versa please feel free to change the recipe to suit your individual tastes. Also, the maple dressing makes enough for a very large salad or several small salads. It keeps well--covered in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week. It may keep longer, but my household has always polished it off by the end of the first week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Vermont Maple Blueberry Salad

2 cups greens (your choice I used mixed baby greens in the photo, but I've also used romaine lettuce)
1/4 - 1/2 cup blueberries
1 granny smith apple, cored, sliced thin and then chopped coarsely
3 tablespoons cinnamon almonds, chopped
3 tablespoons crumbled cheese (I have used Gorgonzola, goat, feta and blue cheeses)

Maple Vinaigrette
adapted from Bon Appetit

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tablespoons maple syrup (I use grade B organic; it has a stronger maple flavor)
3 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil (other mild flavored oils may be used)

Whisk mayonnaise, maple syrup, vinegar and sugar to blend. Whisk in oil until mixture thickens slightly. Cover, refrigerate up to 1 week.

Plating Salad: Toss greens and a little dressing in bowl. Place dressed greens on individual plates and top with blueberries, apples, crumbled cheese and almonds. Drizzle a small amount of dressing over the toppings and serve immediately.

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